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UPDATE 1-Mexico gross fixed investment reaches pre-pandemic levels in March

·1 min read

(Recasts story, adds comparative figures, economist's comments)

MEXICO CITY, June 6 (Reuters) - Mexico's measure of spending on machinery, equipment and new construction rose above pre-pandemic levels for the first time in March, figures from the national statistics agency showed on Monday.

The seasonally-adjusted gross fixed investment index rose to 97.30 in March, the highest since the 97.07 posted in February 2020 before the pandemic ravaged Latin America's second largest economy.

Gross fixed investment increased 4.1% in March from a year earlier and was up 2.9% from February when adjusted for seasonal swings. The figures are also up 5.9% year-on-year in non-seasonally-adjusted terms.

Goldman Sachs economist Alberto Ramos underscored that "the two main components of domestic demand ended 1Q2022 on a strong note," including the 2.9% monthly increase in gross fixed investment, which was driven by construction, and a rise in household consumption.

"In the coming months, domestic demand is expected to face headwinds from high inflation, rising rates, subdued consumer and business confidence, and softer impulse from U.S. activity," said Ramos. (Reporting by Isabel Woodford; Editing by Anthony Esposito and Tomasz Janowski)