Mexico's Leading Economic Index Drifts South

The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators for Mexico slipped two-tenths of a percentage point in May, the most recent month for which data are available. The index now stands at 148.6 (1990=100)

The leading index for Mexico increased 1.6 percentage points in April following a two-tenth percent decline in March. During the six months through May, the index increased 1.1 percentage points. "The behavior of the leading index in recent months suggests that the economy should grow again in the near term, but at a more sluggish rate than in 2004," says the Conference Board, a New York-based business research group. Indeed during the first quarter of 2005, Mexico's inflation-adjusted GDP growth was at an annual rate of 2.5%, roughly half the 4.8% average growth rate for 2004.

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