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ECONOMIC BRIEFINGS
Information provided by the Mexico Trade Commission-Bancomext’s New York Office.

Trade between Mexico and the USA up 25% in January

Trade between Mexico and the United States had a 25% increase. in the first month of the year, when compared to January 2006 and stays with a balance positive for Mexican economy, the Department of Commerce informed.

The press release states that the United States and Mexico had trade exchange for US$26.072 billion last January, a 24.8% increase when compared to the US$20.889 billion in the first month of 2006.

The exchange was the result of Mexican sales in the US market for US$15.327 billion and exports from the United States to Mexico for US$10.746 billion, with a balance surplus for Mexico in the amount of US$4.582 billion.

However, Mexico stays displaced to the third place as the US trade partner due to the increase in exports made by China, which has been second after Canada since October 2006, according to official figures.
 



Gross fixed investment grows 10% in 2006
Last year, gross fixed capital investment in Mexico grew at a 3,3% rate. With these results during all of 2006 the indicator was increased by 10%, according to figures disclosed by the Ministry of the Treasury
(Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público – SHCP).

Data shows that the raise in this indicator during 2006, the highest in the last 6 years, was influenced by increases in expenses made in machinery and equipment, as well as expenses in construction industry.

The Ministry said that during the above-mentioned term, expenses in machinery and equipment went up 12.5%, with an increase in imported equipment of 16.1% and 5.1% for Mexican equipment, when compared to 2005.

Gross fixed investment in construction industry had a 6.9% annual expansion.
 



Industry maximizes use of facilities

During 2006 the use of industrial facilities reached a record level for one year.

The installed capacity averaged, in the 12 months of 2006, an 83.3% use, an increase of almost 5% since 2001, according to data from the Mexican Statistics Agency, INEGI.

Two industries stood out for the use of installed facilities, namely basic metal industries that used 87.4%, and non-metal minerals with 85.5%, a 2% increase when compared to 2005.

Wood and textile industries showed a drop in the use of facilities.
 


Manufacturing up in 14 states

Last November, from the 17 states considered for Regional Manufacturing Production Indicators, 14 registered increases, as shown by figures disclosed by the Mexican statistics agency, Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática (INEGI).

According to information previously disclosed by INEGI, manufacturing production in Mexico during November 2006 had a 4.5% annual increase.

In the information provided by INEGI stand out some states for the increase they showed, namely Aguascalientes with 24.5%, Sonora with 19.5% and Baja California with 18.3%.

The figures were influenced by a the larger activity shown by metal products and machinery and equipment, In addition, the increase in food and beverage and tobacco industries had an influence over the growth in Aguascalientes, and basic metal industries was significant for the growth in Sonora.


Aeronautics school created in Mexico. - The third of its kind in the world

The first school in Mexico to train aeronautics industry’s technical staff. will be built in Queretaro International Airport, so that in the future they can work, either abroad or in Mexico, for any airplanes manufacturer.

According to Patrick Rider, President of The Everest Group, a company that identifies business opportunities in Canada, Mexico and the United States, this will be the third school of its kind in the world; one is located in Québec, Canada and the other one in Toulouse, France. “We are talking about a high level education center to train Mexicans to work for any airplanes manufacturer”, Rider said.

This school, to be located inside Queretaro’s airport, will offer courses that allow students learning the theory on how structure and electric systems work in an airplane, so that they can manufacture an aircraft and maintain it in perfect conditions.

“One of the main factors to build a school of this kind is that President Felipe Calderon has a clear vision of what aerospace industry may mean to Mexico, and he is familiar with the subject because he was very much involved during the past Administration”, Mr. Rider.
 

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