MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican auto exports posted their first decline in a decade last year, while production in the industry registered its biggest fall over the same period, official data showed on Wednesday, the latest evidence of weakness plaguing the economy.
Auto production slipped by 4.1% to 3,750,841 units in 2019, national statistics agency INEGI said. That was the second annual decline in succession and the biggest since a drop of some 28% during the Mexican recession of 2009.
Exports fell by 3.4% to 3,333,586 units last year, the data showed, marking the first annual decline since 2009.
In December, auto output tumbled by 12.7% to 208,073 units and exports by 16.7% to 229,227 units.
Mexico exports the bulk of its manufactured goods to the United States, where industrial activity has been slowing.
Mexico’s economy has been battling to stave off recession since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took power in December 2018 vowing to lift economic growth to 4% per year.
Instead, the economy suffered a mild contraction in the first six months of 2019, and economists say there is a risk Mexican gross domestic product will show its first negative annual growth in a decade when final data are published.