Latin America economic news summary

01 June 2018 16:00 Source:ICIS News

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Here are the economic news stories on the Latin America region for the week ended 1 June:

Braskem's chemical plants in Brazil are operating at 50% capacity because of logistical disruptions caused by a recent trucker strike.

Brazil's GDP rose by 1.2% in the first quarter from the same time in 2017, the state statistical agency (IBGE) said on 30 May.

Mexico's economy grew by 2.3% year on year in the first quarter, the state statistical agency (INEGI) said on 23 May. Quarter on quarter, GDP grew by 1.1%, INEGI said.

Mexico's central bank maintained its benchmark interest rate at 7.5% on 17 May amid uncertainty stemming from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Mexican peso. The bank said the current rate should help inflation fall back to their 3% target and that they were closely following potential inflation pressures from a weaker peso.

The peso has tumbled close to 5% this month to its weakest in more than a year, largely because of a stronger dollar. The central bank said “domestic factors” also weakened the currency. Mexican policymakers said the peso could be further hurt by uncertainty about Mexico’s presidential election on 1 July, as well the renegotiation of NAFTA.

Mexico's producer price index (PPI) declined by 0.04% in April month on month, INEGI said on 9 May. For the year it rose by 4.00%. The figures exclude petroleum. By sector, producer prices for chemicals dropped by 1.20% month on month but were up by 5.33% for the year. Plastic and rubber products were down by 0.12% month on month but were up by 3.96% for the year. Petroleum products were up by 0.83% month on month and up for the year at 14.37%, INEGI said.

Mexico's industrial production in March was steady year on year and also stable from the previous month, INEGI said on 11 May.

By Staff Reporter