Mexico says its economy shrank by a worse-than-expected 8.2 percent between January and March compared with the same period last year.
That is the worst decline since 1995 and was before the swine flu outbreak. Fears that the new strain of flu could become a deadly pandemic then forced Mexico’s government to temporarily shut factories and offices in late April and early May. The first quarter slump came as the recession caused US demand for Mexican exports to dry up. For the whole year Mexico’s finance minister said GDP could fall by as much as 5.5 percent from last year’s level. The tourism industry is still suffering from flu fears. The government has said tourism revenue may fall 43 percent this year.