Mexico posted a trade deficit in June, weighing on the economy as growth in factory exports trended lower, the national statistics agency said.

The trade deficit was $308 million in June when adjusted for seasonal swings, down from a $340 million deficit in May.

Mexico is still limping back from recession, and the country’s central bank is seen keeping interest rates low until the middle of nest year to help growth. Trade deficits slow economic growth.

Factory exports grew 0.8 percent month over month in June, sharply lower than the 2.9 percent growth posted in May.

Growth in factory exports has been on a downward trend since November, with exports taking a big hit in April after an earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan disrupted global supply chains.

Mexico’s economy has lagged regional peers Brazil and Chile because of a still-weak U.S. economy, which absorbs most Mexican exports. South American commodities producers have benefited from Chinese demand. (Reuters)