Had foreign investment in Mexico in the first quarter of this year matched that of the first quarter of last year, this year’s first quarter capital account surplus would have exceeded last year’s. It didn't, so foreign investment was just three-fifths of its level a year earlier. Both components of foreign investment -- foreign direct investment (FDI) and portfolio investment (PI) -- were lower.
FDI was US$5.8 billion, 28.4% less than a year earlier. Three-fifths of FDI took the form of reinvested profits; that US$3.5 billion has as its counterpart an outflow of the same size in the current account. The remaining two-fifths of FDI – new investments and net liabilities with parent companies – does not have a mirror counterpart in the current account. New investments accounted for US$1.8 billion (31.4% of total FDI) and increased liabilities (net) with parent companies, US$0.5 billion (8.0% of the total).
Portfolio investment was half its level of the first quarter of 2013. Foreign investment in equities was more than ten times its first quarter 2013 level. Such impressive growth is much easier to register when measuring against such a low base. And, alas, foreign investment in equities was just 5.9% of PI. Foreign investment in money market instruments -- 94.1% of PI -- was US$4.5 billion, half its level of a year earlier. It was also less than FDI in the quarter.