UPDATE 2-Mexico inflation touches new record low in early July

jueves 23 de julio de 2015 10:19 GYT

(Adds details on expected timing of interest rate moves, detail on peso)

By Alexandra Alper

MEXICO CITY, July 23 (Reuters) - Mexico's annual inflation rate cooled in early July to a record low, official data showed on Thursday, giving policymakers room to hold interest rates low until an expected increase in U.S. borrowing costs.

The national statistics institute said inflation in the 12 months through mid-July eased to 2.76 percent from 2.87 percent in June. A poll of analysts by Reuters had forecast the rate would be unchanged.

Most of Mexico's central bankers think inflation will remain below their 3 percent target for the rest of the year because of the sluggish economy.

Despite tame inflation and weak growth, Mexico is seen raising interest rates when U.S. borrowing costs move higher.

A Reuters poll published on Thursday predicted the U.S. Federal Reserve would raise interest rates in September. Another poll earlier this week by bank Banamex showed analysts expect Mexico to hike rates by 25 basis points the same month.

The Mexican data showed that consumer prices rose by 0.09 in the first half of July. The analysts' poll had forecast a 0.17 percent increase.

The core price index, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, climbed 0.10 percent in early July, compared with expectations of 0.15 percent.   Continuación...