Mexican exports ended 2017 with an annual increase of 9.5%, representing the most significant growth since 2011. Such rise contributed to reach the smallest trade deficit in three years as shipments of manufactured goods helped offset a widening gap in the country's petroleum products trade.
The country ran up a US$ 157 million deficit in December, bringing the full-year 2017 trade deficit to US$ 10.88 billion, the lowest since 2014, the National Statistics Institute said today. December exports rose 7.9% to US$ 35.82 billion, and imports rose 8.4% to US$ 35.98 billion. Total 2017 exports rose to US$ 409.49 billion while imports increased 8.6% to US$ 420.37 billion.
Full year manufacturing shipments totaled US$ 364.48 billion, which represented an 8.5% increase, boosted in part by an 11.8% hike in automotive exports to US$ 126.67 billion, while the rest of manufactures saw a 6.8% growth to US$ 327.81 billion, after remaining two years in negative terrain.
Despite the depreciation of the exchange rate over the course of the year, purchases of consumer goods increased 10.4%, signaling the first hike after two years of declines. Imports of intermediate goods, important for its relation to the product process, increased by 9.0% at the end of the year.
Purchases of capital goods, which are relevant for being a "thermometer" of fixed investment spending in the country, expanded 3.2% at annual rate, after having fallen close to 4.0% in 2016.