By Stephen Downer, Plastics News Correspondent
Mexico City -- The swine flu-induced shutdown of all government and most private sector activities in Mexico over five days this month cost automotive industry suppliers at least $7.6 million, according to a major trade association.
The biggest impact was felt by exporters, Agustín Ríos, president of suppliers association INA (Industria Nacional de Autopartes AC), said on 7 May.
"It's difficult to estimate the full economic impact of the days that were lost but I consider that it's more than 100 million pesos ($7.6 million dollars)."
Fortunately, he said, "everything appears to indicate that there won't be any more stoppages for the moment."
The sector, one of Mexico's most important in manufacturing terms, is already suffering the consequences of a global economic downturn and slumping light vehicle sales across the world.
Last month Ríos said its sales to original equipment makers this year are likely to be 20 percent down on those of 2008, when they were somewhere between $27 000 million and $30 000 million.
INA is still working with the federal government on computing the sector's 2008 results.
Meanwhile, both the number of confirmed cases of swine flu and deaths from the virus in Mexico continued to rise Friday.
Health Minister José Ángel Córdova reported 1364 confirmed cases, up from 1204 on Thursday, and 45 deaths, one more than the previous day.