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Mexico April industrial output rises by most in over a year

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican industrial production rose in April by the most in over a year as manufacturing and construction expanded, suggesting a strengthening recovery in Latin America's No. 2 economy. April industrial activity rose 0.64 percent compared with March, the national statistics agency said on Wednesday, its biggest increase since February 2013.

The figure was below expectations for a 0.7 percent increase and above the upwardly revised 0.24 percent expansion in March. The finance ministry cut its growth forecast last month to 2.7 percent from 3.9 percent for the year, after quarter on quarter growth notched a weak 0.3 percent in the first three months of the year.

Factory output, a component of industrial production, rose 1.09 percent in April compared with the prior month.

Mexico exports mostly manufactured goods and sends nearly 80 percent of its exports to the United States.

Mexico's manufacturing sector sentiment edged up in May, rising for a second month in a row off a five-month low, on improving new orders and employment even as output dipped amid a sluggish economic recovery.

As for other components of industrial output, the construction industry, which contracted sharply last year, picked up by 0.56 percent compared with March; utilities expanded by 1.29 percent.

However, mining dipped 0.44 percent in the same period. Industrial output fell 0.6 percent in April from a year earlier, compared with expectations for a 0.3 percent increase and the upwardly revised 3.8 percent expansion in March.For a graphic on Mexico industrial production: http://link.reuters.com/kat96s

(Reporting By Alexandra Alper Editing by W Simon)