The construction industry grew 2.5 percent at a monthly rate in the second month of the year, and this was its highest increase since October 2020, based on INEGI data. Plus, it was his best figure for February since 2015.
However, in its annual comparison, construction still lags behind, registering a 5.3 percent decrease, and adds 25 months in negative territory.
The advances in construction and mining offset the falls in manufacturing and in electricity, gas and water services, and allowed a monthly advance of 0.4 percent in industrial activity.
Construction was driven by a 3.6 percent rise in the building segment, while civil engineering works fell 0.5 percent and specialized construction jobs fell 0.4 percent.
Marcos Arias, an analyst at Monex, indicated that the most outstanding data was the increase in construction, which traditionally represents 15 percent of the total secondary sector and almost 65 percent of all construction. However, this segment continues to be one of the most affected by the pandemic.
“The outlook in the construction sector is that it will maintain a recovery throughout the year, but it will particularly have a statistical benefit, as it is one of the sectors hardest hit in the pandemic; in annual terms there are records of a significant lag, so it is natural to see an expansion in monthly terms, ”said Carlos Hernández, senior analyst at Masari Casa de Bolsa.
“It was a positive surprise because we still expect very negative data due to the fact that in the first half of the month we had red traffic lights and in the other half it affected the interruption of gas and electricity supplies. Furthermore, the comparative base is relatively low with that of February of last year, ”said Ernesto O’Farril, president of Grupo Bursamétrica.
He expects construction “to continue a certain inertia of spending, but we do not anticipate a significant rebound. The works that are working have the insignia of the federal government and some projects that were stopped began their activity, we do not see a significant incentive for there to be strong growth ”.
Miguel González, coordinator of the UNAM’s Center for Financial Studies and Public Finance (CEFI), pointed out that fixed gross investment has begun to recover, which is being adapted to health measures.
“We must not forget the effects of the reactivation of road construction that was halted throughout last year, as well as the Dos Bocas refinery and the acceleration in the construction of the airport,” he said.
Is the panorama improving?
The Monthly Industrial Activity Indicator (IMAI) advanced 0.4 percent at a monthly rate during February, and this was its biggest advance in three months.
Mining grew 2.3 percent and in the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, water supply and gas, a fall of 3.8 percent was reported, while the manufacturing industry fell 2.1 percent, and linked two months with setbacks.
“We expected the industrial sector to be a small drag on the economy during the first quarter as a whole, but now that seems unlikely,” Nikhil Sanghani, Latin America economist at Capital Economics, said in a report.
He indicated that assuming that manufacturing production reversed its losses in March, industrial production is estimated to add around 0.3 percentage points to GDP in the first quarter, in the series adjusted for seasonality.
Source: El Financiero