INTERVIEW-Mexico sees economy rebounding to 4 pct growth in 2014
* U.S. recovery will boost Mexico's economy - Videgaray
* Withdrawal of Fed stimulus is "good news," says minister
(Adds finance minister's comments, background, details)
SANTIAGO, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Mexico's economy, the second largest in Latin America, is set to rebound next year, boosted by a recovery in its main trade partner, the United States, Finance Minister Luis Videgaray said on Saturday.
The upbeat forecast came days after data showed Mexico's economy contracted for the first time in four years in the second quarter because of lower government spending, sluggish consumption and weak demand for exports.
The second-quarter contraction prompted the government on Tuesday to cut its 2013 growth outlook to 1.8 percent from a previous outlook of 3.1 percent.
"We expect an important recovery in the pace of (economic) growth next year of around 4 percent," Videgaray told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of a meeting of finance ministers of the Pacific Alliance countries, made up of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.
Already in the second half of this year, stronger growth in the United States and increased public spending at home will help lift Mexico's economy, Videgaray said.
Emerging market currencies have come under heavy selling pressure recently following signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve that it may be getting ready to dial back the pace of its bond-buying monetary stimulus.
"The withdrawal of monetary stimulus undoubtedly introduces market volatility ... but beyond this volatility, the withdrawal of monetary stimulus in the United States is good news for Mexico," Videgaray said.
An economic recovery in Mexico's neighbor to the north will help "stimulate exports and stimulate remittances of Mexicans living in the United States," he said.
TAX REFORM, PEMEX
Making a case for a tax overhaul plan that lawmakers say President Enrique Pena Nieto will present on Sept. 8, Videgaray said the country should not "simply conform itself with growing at a faster pace next year due basically to cyclical reasons."
Pena Nieto plans to boost tax revenue by an extra $50 billion a year with an overhaul extending sales tax coverage, closing loopholes and possibly imposing charges on capital gains.
"This is an integral reform that will review all taxes, the structure of all taxes, with some very clear objectives," Videgaray said.
Among those objectives, the overhaul will look to strengthen the government's financial backbone, simplify the tax structure to boost the competitiveness of small and medium-sized companies, and help bring more people into the formal economy.
The Labor Ministry estimates that the government misses out on tax revenue equal to 4 percentage points of gross domestic product because of the size of the informal economy.
Officials have said the government is seriously considering a proposal to raise the top income tax rate to make wealthier individuals and companies pay more.
Videgaray said he could not get into the specifics of the reform, but added, "This needs to be a just reform ... in other words, those who make more, pay more."
Earlier this month, Pena Nieto also proposed an overhaul of Mexico's energy industry to offer private companies profit-sharing contracts. The reform would mark the largest private-sector opening in decades for Mexico's energy industry, which was nationalized in 1938 and is controlled by state monopoly Pemex.
"We expect a new fiscal regime for Pemex, a regime that treats Pemex more like a company, and that the government acts like an owner that maximizes the company's value in the long term," Videgaray said.
The push for changes at Pemex comes at a time of slowing oil production. Mexico produced 2.482 million barrels per day of crude oil in July, the lowest monthly output in nearly 18 years.
Pemex revenues fund about a third of the federal budget.
"This will have an effect on public finances, but the effect should be a positive effect, as this will allow Pemex to grow and contribute more to public spending," Videgaray said, adding the transition to the new regime would take a few years.
(Reporting by Anthony Esposito and Felipe Iturrieta; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Peter Cooney)