UPDATE 1-Mexico inflation jumps to 10-month high in early February

miércoles 24 de febrero de 2016 10:47 GYT

(Recasts with annual rate)
    MEXICO CITY, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Mexican consumer prices rose
more than expected in early February to their highest since last
April on a surge in food costs, but core inflation showed only
modest pressure from a deep slump in the peso.
    Inflation in the 12 months through mid-February 
was 2.94 percent, higher than a forecast 2.86 percent rate in a
Reuters poll and up from 2.75 percent in the second half of
January. This was the second monthly increase in a row.
    Mexican full-month inflation hit successive record lows from
May through December, but the annual pace of price gains began
to rise in January. The central bank expects inflation to remain
around its 3 percent target this year.
    Last week, the central bank hiked its main interest rate by
a half-percentage point to 3.75 percent to support the peso, and
policymakers said they could act again to keep big currency
losses from fanning consumer prices higher. 
    Consumer prices rose 0.29 percent in the first half of
February, above an expected 0.20 percent, on higher
egg, onion and chili pepper prices. 
    The core index, which strips out some volatile
food and energy prices, rose 0.23 percent, in line with
    The 12-month core inflation rate rose 2.62
percent, just below the poll's expectations of 2.63 percent and
below 2.68 percent in the second half of January, underscoring
the lack of pressure from the weak peso.

 (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)