MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican inflation in the first half of July likely remained at levels not seen since January 2001, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday, fueling bets the Bank of Mexico will again hike its key interest rate at its upcoming monetary policy meeting.
The median forecast of 14 analysts was for annual inflation to hit 8.10% during the first half of the month, from 8.09% in the second half of June.
Annual core inflation, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, was forecast to reach 7.54%, the highest rate since December 2000.
Banxico, as the central bank is known, increased its benchmark interest rate by a record 75 basis points to 7.75% in late June, saying it would hike rates again and by as much if necessary to tame inflation that has surged to double its target.
Since mid-2021 Banxico has increased the benchmark rate by 375 basis points as it struggles to bring inflation to its target of 3% plus or minus one percentage point.
It is scheduled to hold its next monetary policy meeting on Aug. 11.
During the first half of July, Mexican consumer prices are estimated to have increased by 0.39%, compared to the previous half-month period, with core inflation seen rising 0.31%, according to the Reuters poll.
Mexico’s national statistics agency INEGI will publish consumer price data for the first half of July on Friday.
(Reporting by Noe Torres; Writing by Kylie Madry; Editing by Paul Simao)