February 6, 2018 / 3:12 PM / 17 days ago

Mexico consumer confidence dips amid NAFTA uncertainty

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s consumer confidence index dipped to 85.9 in January when adjusted for seasonal factors, falling 3.1 percent from the previous month, the national statistics agency said on Tuesday.

Despite the month-on-month drop, consumer confidence was up 23 percent from January 2017, when the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump sparked widespread concerns about the prospects for the Mexican economy after he repeatedlly attacked Mexico on the campaign trail.

Nevertheless, ongoing uncertainty continues about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement, a critical pillar of the nation’s economy, which caused the Mexican peso to vacillate widely in January. Consumers have also been hit by high inflation and interest rates.

Mexicans’ willingness to buy a big-ticket item like a TV or washing machine fell 1.6 percent from the previous month.

Similarly, Mexicans’ perceptions of the economic prospects of their households and the nation as a whole fell 1.4 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

The unadjusted index was 84.2 during the month.

Reporting by Julia Love; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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