MAPI, or Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation, says the export-oriented carmaking industry in Mexico remains the bright spot and continues to spur growth across intermediate industries. Only the refined petroleum products sector is unable to expand this year in Mexico. In Brazil, plummeting motor vehicles manufacturing dragged down growth across the country's industrial complex, with few exceptions. The size and the duration of Brazil's manufacturing recession are worse than expected by most observers. Similarly, Argentina's manufacturing weakness is explained by a sharp retreat in car production, as domestic sales and exports to Brazil continued their downward trend in the first four months of 2015.
The MAPI Foundation's Latin America manufacturing index is expected to rise a modest 1.9 percent in 2016. A pickup in U.S. manufacturing activity next year will be a contributing factor, extending the solid performance of Mexico's factories, which are expected to experience accelerated output growth late this year and into 2016. We continue to anticipate that Mexico will remain the manufacturing growth leader in the region. A shy rebound in Brazil and Argentina will bring our overall index into positive territory.
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