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Construction expanded at a strong pace while manufacturing weakened

Industrial production (IP) grew 5.2% YoY in August, above our 4.0% forecast and market expectations of 4.5% (as per Bloomberg).  The calendar adjusted quarterly annual rate of industrial production rose to 5.0% in August (from 4.0% in 2Q23). At the margin, IP expanded 0.3% mom/sa in August, driven once again by strong growth in the construction sector (2.6%), while manufacturing output weakened, falling by 0.7%. Within construction, engineering construction expanded the most, associated likely, in part, to the culmination of AMLO’s large infrastructure projects. Industrial production momentum improved, with the qoq/saar at 8.2% in August (from 5.9% in 2Q23) supported mainly by construction output (50.3%), while manufacturing production stood at a soft 0.6%.

Our take:  We expect sequential GDP to expand further in the second half of the year, but at a slower pace relative to the 1H23. Strong momentum in the construction sector is unlikely to persist during the rest of the year, while manufacturing output is expected to remain soft. Our GDP growth forecast for this year stands at 3.0%.

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Julio Ruiz