Mexico drops growth forecast amid economy slowdown

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government has lowered its forecast for the nation’s economic growth this year to 1.8 percent. That’s down from the 3.1 percent gain it predicted earlier this year.

The National Statistics Institute says the country’s GDP expanded only 1.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013, compared to the same quarter of 2012.

Compared to the first quarter, GDP actually contracted 0.74 percent in the April-June period. Growth for the first half of 2013 averaged 1 percent, due to weakness in the mining and construction sectors.

The Finance Department said Tuesday that the fundamentals of Mexico’s economy remain solid and that growth should pick up.

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