During the first four months of 2009 Mexico's industrial sector contracted 9.9%, the worst trimester contraction since the last trimester of 1995, when the it fell 10.8%. In 1995 the economy collapsed as foreign investors withdrew their holdings in Mexico following the 1994 assassination of popular presidential candidate Donaldo Colosio, and the Chiapas rebellion, drawing attention to the low level of legitimacy of the Mexican state under the guidance of the ruling party, the PRI.
Manufacturing was down 13.8% in the first trimester of 2009, an indicator of what might be happening in Juarez, which relies heavily for jobs in the maquila sector, which in turn relies on the U.S. economy. Construction, which government action can control some, was down only 7.7%.
Tomorrow the government will release gross domestic product data for the first trimester. Given the effects of the U.S. recession on the Mexican economy, and the beginning of the effect of the swine flu crisis, experts expect gdp to be down at least 8%.