Mexican industrial output rose in July as companies such as Whirlpool Corp. increased production to meet higher demand in both the U.S. and Mexico.
Industrial production rose 3.8 percent from the same period in 2003 after growing 5.2 percent in June, a Finance Ministry report showed.
"We're very bullish and optimistic about the economy and the appliance market here in Mexico," Roy Armes, director general of Whirlpool Mexico SA, said. "Mexico is one of the biggest investments that our company is making at this point in time."
Investment from international companies such as Whirlpool have industrial production growing at its fastest pace in Latin America's largest economy since 2000. July's industrial output was led by an 11.6 percent increase from foreign export-assembly factories known as maquiladoras. Industrial production also rose a seasonally adjusted 0.82 percent from June, the Finance Ministry said.
Foreign companies invested more than U.S. $10.3 billion into Mexico during the first half of the year -- close to the $10.8 billion for all of 2003 -- to meet rising U.S. demand for manufactured goods.
According to Mr. Armes, appliance sales in Mexico have grown between 5 percent and 8 percent per year during the past 10 years as rising incomes have allowed families to trade up to more expensive refrigerators and stoves.
"Mexico geographically certainly is an advantage for us in terms of exporting to the U.S. and Canada and even exporting to Central America," Mr. Armes said. "Importing products from as far away as Asia just didn't make economic sense." (Bloomberg)
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