February 26, 2018 / 2:44 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico retail sales fall for second month in December

 (Adds background, inflation details)
    MEXICO CITY, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Mexican retail sales fell
for the second month in a row in December, dropping 0.5 percent
from November, the national statistics agency said on Monday.
    Sales slid 2.0 percent in December from the same month a
year earlier, the fifth such decline in five months. It was the
biggest annualized drop in sales for any month since March 2013.
    Private spending has been a pillar of support for the
Mexican economy, which faces threats from U.S. President Donald
Trump, who has said he may ditch the NAFTA trade accord.
    Nonetheless, Mexico has also suffered stubbornly high
inflation. Banco de Mexico's governing board unanimously voted
to hike the key rate by 25 basis points on Feb. 8 to 7.50
percent, its highest level since February 2009, and board
members remain concerned by still-high prices.
    Earlier this month, Mexico's retail association ANTAD said
sales at stores open for at least a year rose 3.9 percent in
January from the same month a year earlier.
 Retail sales (pct     Dec 2017    Nov 2017    Dec 2016
 month/month           -0.5        -0.2        -1.0
 year/year             -2.0        -1.5        9.0
 (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by David Gregorio)
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