(Adds historical comparisons)
MEXICO CITY, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Mexican factory exports slipped in September while consumer imports plunged in a sign that a recovery in Latin America’s No. 2 economy may be losing steam.
Factory exports fell 0.63 percent in September from August in seasonally adjusted terms, the national statistics agency said on Monday, dragged down by a 5.97 percent plunge in auto exports, its biggest contraction since August 2012.
Most of Mexico’s exports are manufactured goods and nearly 80 percent of the country’s exports are sent to the United States.
Non-oil consumer imports slid 5.12 percent in September compared with August, the biggest slump since May 2012, pointing to weaker demand from shoppers after a tax hike crimped spending.
Mexico’s economy picked up in the second quarter after a slow start to the year, and analysts project the economy will grow around 2.5 percent this year after expanding only 1.4 percent in 2013.
But Mexico’s economy shrank in August by the most in five months as the service sector sank, casting a shadow over hopes for a robust recovery.
Mexico posted a $957 million trade surplus in September when adjusted for seasonal swings. In non-seasonally adjusted terms, Mexico posted a trade surplus of $590 million. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper Editing by W Simon and James Dalgleish)