Mexico’s economy contracted 18.7% in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on most activities in the country

August 26, 2020, 2:40 PM

2 min read

MEXICO CITY —
Mexico’s economy contracted 18.7% in the second quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, reflecting the impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on most activities in the country.

Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography said Wednesday that gross domestic product plunged in the second quarter 17.1% from what it had been in the first three months of the year.

The ugly numbers had been expected. Mexico suspended much of its economic activity and urged people to stay at home beginning in late March. Parts of the economy gradually began to reopen in June.

Secondary activities, such as manufacturing, construction and the energy sector, were particularly hard hit, dropping 25.7% in the second quarter. Services fell 16.2%, while primary activities, including agriculture and forestry, only receded slightly, by 0.2%.

Mexico’s economy was already in recession before it confirmed its first COVID-19 case on Feb. 28. The economy contracted 0.3% in 2019 and is expected to shrink at least 9% this year. More than a million jobs in the formal economy have been lost this year, but more than half of Mexicans work in the informal sector where the losses are believed to have been even worse.

Mexico has reported more than 568,000 COVID-19 infections and more than 61,000 deaths.

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