Mexico's December consumer confidence index fell by a
seasonally-adjusted 0.7%, after a 0.8% decline in November.
The decline in December came from lower readings in three of the
five subindexes. The subindex on consumers' future
expectations for the country as a whole dropped 3.2%, erasing all
of its 0.6% increase in November and posting its worst decline
since late 2010. The subindex on consumers' future
expectations for their own family fell 1.4%, after a rise of 0.2%
in the previous month. The subindex on their view of the
current situation in the country also fell 1.4%, after rising 0.2%
in November. On a more positive note, the subindex on
consumers' view of the current situation for their own family rose
2.4%. The strongest gain came in the subindex on consumers'
willingness to buy durable goods. That subindex jumped 12.6%,
posting its best increase since at least 2008. The report was
released on Friday by INEGI, the official statistics agency.
Comment: Although the overall
confidence index fell for a second straight month in December, the
details help clarify why Mexico's consumer spending has continued
to rise. The data suggest that even though Mexican consumers
have become warier of the future (probably in large part because of
disturbing trends in Europe and Asia), their current situation has
improved markedly since the depths of the recession, to the point
where they are more comfortable buying autos, home appliances, and
other durable goods. Unemployment continues to fall
gradually, so if the external environment stabilizes, optimism
could rebound and spending could firm even more.
Patrick Fearon, CFA
Vice President, Fund Management
Mexican Consumer Confidence
Seasonally Adjusted, January 2003 = 100