MexECON Blog

February Leading Index Unchanged at 100.2

Mexico's February index of leading economic indicators stood at 100.2, unchanged from January but up from the revised December reading of 100.1.  Prior to that, the index had stood at 100.0 for five straight months.  The only subindex to increase in February was the one on U.S. stock prices.  That index rose for a fourth straight month to 101.1, its highest level since mid-2008.  In contrast, the subindexes on Mexican stock prices, manufacturing employment, and the inflation-adjusted exchange rate were all flat.  The subindex on interest rates edged down to 100.3, after five straight months at 100.4, and the subindex on non-petroleum exports fell for a ninth straight month to 99.5.  The report was released on Friday by INEGI, the official statistics agency.

Comment:  Mexico's leading index is designed so that readings of 100 are consistent with the economy growing at its long-run tendency in the coming months.  When the index has been trending upward and is above 100, as it is now, it suggests the economy is in an expansionary phase.  That helps confirm other recent reports that show Mexico's economy has regained a bit of strength after hitting a soft spot at the turn of the year.  Nevertheless, problems such as slow growth in the United States and weakness in some domestic sectors mean that the economy is unlikely to accelerate back to the extraordinarily strong growth rates of the last few years.

Patrick Fearon, CFA
Vice President, Fund Management

Leading Index 1302

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