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MEXICO CITY, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Mexico’s annual inflation rate in August climbed faster than expected above the central bank’s 4 percent ceiling, but the rise is expected to be brief as sluggish economic growth contains price pressures.
Inflation in the 12 months through August rose 4.15 percent, the national statistics agency said on Tuesday.
That was the fastest pace since February and compared with a 4.07 percent annual rate in July and expectations in a Reuters poll for a 4.10 increase.
Mexico’s central bank on Friday kept interest rates on hold at a record low of 3 percent and said inflation pressures would ease in the first half of 2015, boding for steady borrowing costs in the coming months.
Mexico targets a 3 percent inflation rate, plus or minus one percentage point. The central bank is expected to hold borrowing costs steady until around the middle of next year, when the U.S. Federal Reserve is seen raising its main rate.
Yields on short-term Mexican interest rate swaps ticked higher after the data as investors firmed bets on a hike by June of next year.
Consumer prices rose 0.36 percent in August from July, compared with estimates of a 0.30 increase. Higher prices for fresh meat drove the increase, and Mexico’s central bank has argued that such short-term shocks do not justify higher interest rates.
Core inflation, which strips out some volatile food and energy costs, increased 0.21 percent, compared with a 0.20 percent rate forecast in the Reuters poll. Weaker-than-expected economic growth early this year has helped contain core price pressures. (Reporting by Michael O‘Boyle; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)