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Mexico inflation near 15-month high ahead of rates decision

FILE PHOTO: People look at posters with product prices outside a market known as La Merced as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues, in Mexico City, Mexico June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Romero/File Photo

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican inflation was close to a 15-month high during the first half of September, authorities said on Thursday, feeding speculation that the central bank will make a smaller rate cut at a monetary policy meeting later in the day.

Consumer prices were up 4.10% in the year through the first two weeks of the month, the national statistics agency said. That was just below a 4.11% rise in prices in the final half of August, the biggest jump since May 2019.

The Banco de Mexico is expected to cut the benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points later on Thursday, after a series of half percentage point cuts in recent months during the biggest economic slump since the 1930s Great Depression.

Banxico’s mandate is to watch inflation, however, and the rising prices have some on its board calling for a slower pace of cuts, with one member dissenting at the last meeting.

Closely watched core prices MXCPIH=ECI, which strip out some volatile food and energy prices, climbed 3.99 percent through early September.

Compared to the same period in August, prices rose 0.16%, while core prices were up 0.17%.

Mexico City newsroom, +52 55 5282-7153, mexicocity.newsroom@reuters.com; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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