(Corrects last paragraph to show Mexico posted a trade deficit in January, not a surplus)
MEXICO CITY, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Mexican factory exports fell in January, in a sign of wavering U.S. appetite for local goods that could undermine a tepid economic recovery.
Non-oil manufactured exports fell 1.78 percent in January compared with December, according to seasonally adjusted data released on Wednesday by the national statistics agency.
Most of Mexico’s exports are manufactured goods and nearly 80 percent are sent to its northern neighbor, the United States. Stronger exports in the second half of last year had helped the economy climb back from a contraction in the second quarter.
Data last week showed Mexico’s economy slowed sharply in the fourth quarter as industry ground to a halt and the pace of services growth dropped, dragging annual growth to a four-year low and clouding hopes for a robust recovery this year.
Mexico posted a $2.221 billion trade deficit in January when adjusted for seasonal swings. In non-seasonally adjusted terms, Mexico posted a trade deficit of $3.195 billion. (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter and Alexandra Alper, editing by Rosalind Russell)