MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s year-on-year inflation likely accelerated in February after cooling slightly over the previous two months, a Reuters poll showed Friday, reinforcing expectations that the central bank will continue to raise its key interest rate.
The consensus forecast of 11 analysts surveyed was for inflation to grow to 7.23% from 7.07% in January. If the prediction is correct, it would be the first increase since November, when inflation hit a 20-year high.
The core rate of inflation, which strips out some volatile food and energy items, was seen accelerating to 6.58%, which would be the highest rate since June 2001.
The Bank of Mexico targets inflation of 3%, with a one percentage point tolerance range above and below that. In February the bank raised its benchmark interest rate by 50 basis points, a sixth consecutive rise, citing inflation.
The central bank’s next monetary policy decision is scheduled for March 24, a week after the United States’ Federal Reserve is expected to hike percentages after years of near-zero rates.
Just in February, Mexican consumer prices are estimated to have increased by 0.78% with the core price index seen advancing 0.74%.
Mexico’s national statistics agency will publish the latest inflation data on Wednesday.
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