Mexico’s central bank cut its 2016 growth forecast for the third time, saying slower U.S. industrial activity will hurt demand for the nation’s goods.
Gross domestic product will increase 2 percent to 3 percent this year, compared with the previous estimate of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent, the bank said in its quarterly inflation report published Thursday on its website. Inflation will quicken to slightly above the 3 percent target in the second and third quarters before ending 2016 near 3 percent, policy makers said.
The central bank, led by Governor Agustin Carstens, surprised investors on Feb. 17 by raising the nation’s key interest rate half a point to 3.75 percent and introducing discretionary dollar sales in an effort to head off a rise in inflation expectations stemming from a weak peso. Since the measures were announced, the peso has appreciated the most among major currencies from a record low as economists expect the benchmark rate to rise even further this year.