Mexico reportedly produced 131,295 vehicles in May, up 5.6% from a year earlier as the sector continued a slow recovery.

Exports by Mexico-based automakers rose to 98,753 units in the same month, up 5.3% from May 2004, the Mexican Automotive Industry Association (AMIA) told Reuters.

May's growth was less rapid than in April, when the country built 12.7% more vehicles year over year.

The news agency noted that Mexico's auto industry shrank slightly in 2004 as weak US demand dented overseas sales, but industry leaders have said they expect much stronger results this year - in the first five months of 2005, Mexico manufactured 600,580 automobiles, 2.3% fewer than the year-earlier period.