(Recasts with exports; adds details on consumer imports, graphic)
MEXICO CITY, April 28 (Reuters) - The pace of Mexican factory export growth slowed in March, pointing to a sluggish economic recovery in Latin America’s No. 2 economy and backing bets for steady borrowing costs ahead.
Factory exports rose 0.07 percent in March from February, the national statistics agency said on Monday, as an increase in auto exports was offset by a dip in other manufactured goods.
Mexican-made exports had risen at their fastest pace in over four years in February after a dip in the prior two months.
Most of Mexico’s exports are manufactured goods and nearly 80 percent of them are sent to the United States, where the economy was hurt by bad winter weather in early 2014.
Non-oil consumer imports rose 2.31 percent in March compared to February, the institute said, in a sign of stronger domestic demand. Retail sales have fallen for three months in a row through February.
Mexico’s central bank kept interest rates on hold on Friday at a record low of 3.5 percent and highlighted some signs of improving economic growth. Policymakers are expected to hold down borrowing costs into next year to aid the economy after a slowdown last year and a weak start to 2014.
Mexico posted a $373 million trade deficit in March when adjusted for seasonal swings. In non-seasonally adjusted terms, Mexico posted a trade surplus of $1.027 billion . (Reporting by Michael O‘Boyle; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)