Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gestures during a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico June 15, 2021. REUTERS/Luis Cortes

MEXICO CITY, June 18 (Reuters) – Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday he expects that by the third quarter the Mexican economy will reach pre-pandemic levels, after gross domestic product contracted by some 8.5% last year driven by pandemic-related fallout.

The president’s faith in a faster rebound is more optimistic than the central bank’s latest forecasts.

“Without a doubt, by the third quarter of this year we will already be (at the levels) we were at before the pandemic,” Lopez Obrador told a news conference.

Mexico’s economy grew 24.8% in May compared with the same month last year, as a recovery from a slump made worse by the coronavirus pandemic gathered pace, a preliminary estimate published by national statistics agency INEGI showed on Thursday.

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