MEXICO CITY (Feb. 6, 1 p.m. ET) — Demand for manufactured goods made of rubber, plastics and other materials derived from petroleum in Mexico rose by almost a point in January in relation to the same month in 2011, according to the preliminary figures of an indicator of the national economy published Feb. 3 by Mexico's statistics institute.
The Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) said the index of orders for manufactured goods in the category including plastics rose from 50.5 in January 2011 to 51.4 last month, while that for basic metals rose 2.2 points from 50.8 to 53.
Overall, however, orders for manufactured goods fell half a point, from 52.3 in January 2011 to 51.8 in January 2012, according to the index, due largely to a 2.8 point drop in orders for food, beverages and tobacco products and a 1.9 point fall in orders for “transportation equipment.”
INEGI said it conducts a survey of 1,553 companies with a minimum of 1,000 employees every month. The companies are spread across Mexico and half of them reply via the internet while the rest are surveyed face-to-face.
The statistics support the optimism of Eduardo Martínez Hernández, president of Mexico's plastics industry association Anipac (Asociación Nacional de Industrias del Plástico AC), who predicted last month that the sector would grow in 2012, although he was unsure by how much.
It grew by 10 percent to just over $20 billion in 2011, the umpteenth annual increase in sales of processed products, resins and equipment since 1995, the last time the sector experienced a downturn.