March 23, 2020 / 6:05 PM / 2 months ago

Mexico inflation seen above central bank 3% target again in first half of March - Reuters poll

FILE PHOTO: Tomatoes and chayotes are pictured at a groceries stall at a market in Mexico City, Mexico, January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican annual inflation likely slowed in the first half of March as energy prices fall, but still remained above the central bank’s 3% target, a Reuters poll showed on Monday.

The median forecasts of 15 analysts and economists was for inflation to have dipped to a rate of 3.72% in the first half of March, from 3.87% in the second half of February. MXCPHI=ECI

Mexico’s central bank on Friday announced its biggest rate cut in six years in an out-of-cycle move, and pledged support for the financial markets as part of more aggressive measures to cushion the economy from the coronavirus fallout.

The Bank of Mexico, which cut the benchmark interest rate 50 basis points to 6.50%, said there was heightened uncertainty about the inflation outlook, with risks both on the downside and the upside, along with increased slack in the economy.

During the first 15 days of March, consumer prices were forecast to have risen 0.15%, according to the survey. The core price index, which strips out some volatile items, was seen rising by 0.20%. MXCPIF=ECI MXCPIH=ECI

Annual core inflation was forecast at 3.63%. MXCPIC=ECI

The national statistics institute will publish inflation figures for the first half of March on Tuesday.

Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez in Mexico City and Gabriel Burin in Buenos Aires; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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