(Updates with comparative data, context)
MEXICO CITY, April 11 (Reuters) - Mexican industrial production in February rose for a second straight month, suggesting an economic recovery in Latin America’s No. 2 economy was gaining steam but the expansion was not as strong as expected.
February industrial activity rose 0.3 percent compared with January, the national statistics agency said on Friday, compared to expectations for a 0.45 percent increase and the upwardly revised 0.6 percent expansion in January, the fastest in nearly a year.
Analysts have scaled back their growth estimates for the year after a weak start to 2014, and expect an expansion of about 3.1 percent, after the economy grew 1.1 percent in 2013.
Factory output, a component of industrial production, rose by nearly 0.2 percent in February compared with the prior month. Mexico exports mostly manufactured goods and sends nearly 80 percent of its exports to the United States.
The construction industry, which contracted sharply last year, rose 1.2 percent compared to January. The government has said it spent about 20 percent more in the first two months of the year to help fund more infrastructure projects to boost growth.
Industrial output rose 0.7 percent in February from a year earlier, compared to expectations for a 1.1 percent increase and the upwardly revised 0.8 percent in January. (Reporting by Michael O‘Boyle; Editing by Bernadette Baum)