(Adds unemployment data)
MEXICO CITY, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Mexican annual inflation remained above the central bank’s tolerance ceiling in early August but eased slightly versus late July, boding for steady borrowing costs ahead.
Inflation for the 12 months through the first half of August cooled to 4.07 percent from 4.14 percent during the same period through the second half of July, national statistics institute data showed on Friday.
The figure was above expectations for a 4.03 percent rise and unchanged from the 4.07 percent rate in the year through the full month of July.
The spike last month brought inflation above the central bank’s 4 percent ceiling but policymakers expect the pace of consumer price gains to cool by the end of the year. The rate is seen falling to near 3 percent at the start of 2015.
A separate report on Friday showed the jobless rate when adjusted for seasonal swings rose to a four-month high of 5.19 percent last month, from an upwardly revised 4.89 percent rate in June.
The unadjusted jobless rate stood at 5.47 percent in July, well above the 4.8 percent rate the prior month and marking the highest percentage since September 2011.
Mexico’s central bank is expected to hold its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 3 percent on Sept. 5 after policymakers last week trimmed their 2014 growth forecast to between 2.0 and 2.8 percent.
The bank cut its benchmark rate to 3 percent in June and held steady in July, arguing that sluggish growth would contain price pressures through next year.
Consumer prices rose 0.19 percent in the first half of August, compared to forecasts for a 0.14 percent rise.
Core consumer prices, which exclude some volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.15 percent, above expectations for a 0.12 percent rise.
Data on Thursday showed economic growth was stronger than expected in the second quarter as industrial activity and domestic demand perked up, signaling a recovery in Latin America’s No. 2 economy is gathering pace. (Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Simon Gardner, Chizu Nomiyama and Meredith Mazzilli)