Mexico’s economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of the year, revised government data confirmed Friday, a rough start for new President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
The contraction raises the specter of recession just months into the anti-establishment leftist’s six-year term, threatening his promise to “transform” the country and deliver average annual GDP growth of four percent.
The revised number for January to March was the same as the preliminary figure released in April, which took economic analysts by surprise and triggered talk of a possible recession — two or more consecutive quarters of contraction — in Latin America’s second-largest economy.
Mexico’s economy registered zero growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to the national statistics institute, INEGI.
Lopez Obrador — widely known as “AMLO” — downplayed the data.
“There’s still time” to reach his target of two-percent growth for 2019, he told a press conference.