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Mexican GDP fell 6.5 percent in 2009

Mexico City, Feb 23 (Calcutta Tube) Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 6.5 percent last year amid the global recession, authorities said.

The figure was at the less severe end of the range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent decline forecast by the Mexican central bank, the Inegi statistics agency said.

Media outlets described 2009 as the worst year for the Mexican economy since 1995, when growth was throttled by a financial crisis that forced a sharp devaluation of the peso.

The only bright spot in last year’s statistics was agriculture, which posted a gain of 1.8 percent.

Though GDP rose 2.03 percent in the fourth quarter from the previous three-month period, marking the official end of the recession, the Mexican economy still contracted 2.3 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2008.

Last week, Mexico’s finance ministry revised its 2010 growth forecast upward, from 3 percent to 3.9 percent, citing the ‘significant rally’ in non-oil exports, vehicle production, trade and transportation.

Economists from Spanish-owned BBVA bank agree that recovery is under way in Mexico, but say the economy will not return to pre-recession levels until the middle of 2011.

–IANS/EFE

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