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Mexico economy begins 2022 stronger than estimated as industry rebounds

MEXICO CITY, May 25 (Reuters) - Mexico's economy grew slightly faster in the first quarter than initially estimated, expanding by 1.0% from the previous three-month period amid a recovery in manufacturing and services, official data showed on Wednesday.

The seasonally adjusted figure published by national statistics agency INEGI was stronger than a preliminary estimate that put quarter-on-quarter growth in Latin America's No. 2 economy at 0.9% for the January-March period.

Separate data showed that robust foreign demand for Mexican goods helped to power manufacturing.

A breakdown of the INEGI data showed that primary activities, which cover farming, fishing and mining, contracted by 2.0% compared with the previous quarter.

By contrast, secondary activities, which include manufacturing, expanded by 1.2%, and the tertiary sector, comprising services, grew by 1.3%, the figures showed.

Seasonally adjusted trade data also published by INEGI showed that goods exports rose to $47.8 billion in April from $47.4 billion the previous month. In the three months through April, Mexico shipped far more exports, in dollar terms, than during any three-month period on record, the data show.

However, imports have also surged, hitting $52.1 billion in April, the first time the total has breached the $50 billion mark in adjusted terms. That widened Mexico's adjusted trade deficit in April to $4.3 billion, the biggest in two years.

Compared to the same quarter in 2021, the Mexican economy grew by 1.8%, two-tenths of a percentage point more than the statistics agency's initial estimate.

Data for the fourth quarter of 2021 were revised up to show gross domestic product expanding 0.2% quarter-on-quarter. INEGI previously said the economy was flat in the quarter. (Reporting by Dave Graham; editing by Jason Neely and Bernadette Baum)

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