UPDATE 1-Mexico Jan inflation picks up as peso sinks despite rate hike

viernes 22 de enero de 2016 10:26 GYT

(Adds background, historical comparisons)
    MEXICO CITY, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Mexico's annual inflation
picked up in early January off a record low, despite an interest
rate hike last month aimed at protecting the tumbling peso. 
    Inflation in the 12 months through mid-January 
rose to 2.48 percent, the national statistics institute said on
Friday, above the 2.13 percent reached in the full month of
December but below the 2.55 percent seen in a Reuters poll.
    Mexican full-month inflation hit eight record lows in a row
last year despite a deep slump in the peso due to tumbling oil
    Mexico's central bank hiked interest rates last month to
safeguard the flagging currency and is expected to continue
hiking in line with the U.S. Federal Reserve. 
    But inflation is seen creeping up to Banco de Mexico's 3
percent target this year. 
    The data showed that consumer prices rose by 0.03 percent in
the first half of January. The analysts' poll had
forecast a 0.10 percent increase.
    The core price index, which strips out some
volatile food and energy prices rose by 0.08 percent, below
expectations for a 0.17 percent increase. That took the 12-month
core inflation rate to 2.61 percent, below
expectations for a 2.70 percent rise.

 (Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)