Mexico's economy accelerated in the final three months of 1999 as growing domestic demand for goods and services added to the still-strong U.S. appetite for Mexican exports. The Finance Ministry said Mexico's gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 5.2% in the fourth quarter, picking up speed from the revised growth figure of 4.3% in the third quarter. "The expansion of the GDP is a generalized phenomenon throughout the economy," Deputy Finance Minister Carlos Noriega told a news conference. Mexico's economy grew 3.7% in 1999, slowing from 4.8% in 1998, but well ahead of the government's original target of 3%. The fourth-quarter growth was above the 4.98% average forecast in a Reuters poll of private-sector economists. The numbers also showed an increasing role for Mexican consumers in the economy. While that means a broader based expansion--reducing vulnerability to a U.S. slowdown--it will probably lead to expanding trade deficits, economists said.