(Adds quote on inflation, more details on Carstens’ remarks)
MEXICO CITY, April 22 (Reuters) - There is no current evidence of inflationary pressures in Mexico that would justify an interest rate hike, the country’s central bank governor, Agustin Carstens, said on Wednesday.
Mexico, a major oil producer, has been grappling with a weakening currency following last year’s plunge in global oil prices.
The central bank must also factor in the repercussions of the interest rate hike that is expected in its largest trading partner, the United States, later this year.
However, when asked on local radio whether there would be a rate hike in Mexico in the first half of this year, Carstens said: “We need to have evidence that there are greater inflationary pressures ... that’s not happening today.”
Mexico’s central bank board will meet next week to decide on policy, and most analysts see a rate increase as unlikely.
Carstens said the weak peso has not had a major impact on prices, but added that Mexico can, if needed, reinforce measures to combat foreign exchange volatility. The country is currently using dollar auctions to support the peso.
He also said that not much U.S. currency has been pulled out of Mexico, and added that the country is prepared for any resulting financial turbulence if the U.S. Federal Reserve does decide to raise rates. (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Simon Gardner; and Peter Galloway)