UPDATE 1-Mexico's growth slows less than expected in fourth quarter

viernes 29 de enero de 2016 10:58 GYT

(Adds details on fourth quarter, data on components)

MEXICO CITY Jan 29 (Reuters) - Mexico's economic expansion slowed slightly less than expected in the fourth quarter as the pace of services growth held up even as industrial expansion ground to a halt, preliminary data showed on Friday.

The economy grew by about 0.6 percent from the prior quarter, according to estimates by the national statistics agency.

That was below the 0.8 percent rate in the third quarter and above expectations of 0.5 percent from analysts in a Reuters poll.

On track to post its slowest growth since a contraction at the start of last year, the industrial sector was probably flat with the third quarter, while services grew 0.9 percent, on par with recent periods, the early estimates showed.

Latin America's No. 2 economy suffered last year from uneven U.S. demand for its exports. Recent weakness in U.S. factory output could further drag on Mexico.

Still, improving domestic demand has supported growth despite a dramatic slump in the peso.

Compared with a year earlier, growth expanded by 2.5 percent, compared with analysts' expectations for 2.3 percent. Year-over-year growth in fourth quarter 2014 was 2.6 percent.

Data showed growth last year probably reached 2.5 percent, above analysts' estimates of 2.4 percent and the 2.3 percent expansion in 2014. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper and Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Writing by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)