(Adds historical comparisons)
MEXICO CITY, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Mexican factory exports expanded by the most in over five years last month while consumer imports also rose, in a sign that a recovery in Latin America’s No. 2 economy may be gaining steam.
Factory exports jumped 5.38 percent in October from September in seasonally adjusted terms off a contraction the prior month, the national statistics agency said on Wednesday, marking its biggest jump since August 2009.
The rise was fueled by a 8.5 percent increase in auto exports, its best showing since February, and a 3.93 increase in non-auto factory exports. Most of Mexico’s exports are manufactured goods and nearly 80 percent of its exports are sent to the United States.
Non-oil consumer imports rose 3.13 percent in October compared with September, pointing to stronger demand from shoppers after a tax hike crimped spending earlier this year.
Mexico’s finance ministry cut its 2014 growth forecast last week to a range of 2.1 to 2.6 percent from 2.7 percent after the economy grew unexpectedly slowly in the third quarter.
Mexico posted a $712 million trade surplus in October when adjusted for seasonal swings. In unadjusted terms, Mexico posted a trade surplus of $143 million. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper Editing by W Simon)