July 30, 2020 / 12:17 PM / 8 days ago

Ravaged by coronavirus, Mexico's GDP falls record 17.3% in second quarter

FILE PHOTO: A building undergoing construction is seen in Mexico City, Mexico January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s economy contracted by double digits in the second quarter as the coronavirus pandemic ravaged Latin America’s second-largest economy and shut factories, kept shoppers and tourists at home and upended trade, data showed on Thursday.

GDP fell 17.3% in the second quarter from the previous three months in seasonally adjusted terms, the sharpest drop on record, preliminary data from the INEGI national statistics agency showed.

“The large quarterly contraction of gross domestic product estimated for the second quarter 2020, -17.3% Q/Q, is the biggest in the history of this macroeconomic indicator,” INEGI’s president Julio Santaella said on Twitter.

Gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 18.9% versus a year earlier.

Echoing predictions from independent economists, one of the Mexican central bank’s five board members said on Wednesday that GDP could contract between 8.5% and 10.5% this year.

Spending on tourism, transportation, restaurants and fast food have remained far below expected levels through the end of July, according to central bank board member Gerardo Esquivel.

Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Miguel Angel Gutierrez; editing by Bernadette Baum

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