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Mexican economy shrinks 2.6% in May from April

Credit: REUTERS/JOSE LUIS GONZALEZ

Mexico's economy shrank 2.6% in May, official data showed on Friday, slowing down the pace of economic devastation after a record contraction in April brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

(Recasts, adds details about decline in activity)

MEXICO CITY, July 24 (Reuters) - Mexico's economy shrank 2.6% in May, official data showed on Friday, slowing down the pace of economic devastation after a record contraction in April brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Economists forecast Latin America's second largest economy would suffer its biggest recession since the 1930s, with some predicting a contraction in excess of 10% this year.

After shutting down the economy to slow the spread of the virus in late March, Mexican authorities in May gradually began to permit sectors such as carmaking, mining and construction to start up again.

Adjusted for seasonal swings, the economy contracted 2.6% in May from a month earlier, according to figures put out by national statistics agency INEGI. Compared to the same month last year, it shrank 22.7%, it said.

A breakdown of the data showed that primary activities, such as farming, fishing and mining, rose 1.6% from April. But secondary activities, which include manufacturing, tumbled 1.8% and tertiary activities, which cover the services sector, fell 3.2%.

Mexico's record 17.3% economic decline in April from March came as the coronavirus lockdown paralyzed economic activity, leading to a shutdown of factories, shops and tourist resorts. (Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Alex Richardson) ((drazen.jorgic@tr.com; Reuters Messaging: drazen.jorgic.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: MEXICO ECONOMY/GDP (UPDATE 1)

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