March 7, 2019 / 2:52 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico inflation hits 26-month low in February

(Adds estimates from analysts, data from report)

MEXICO CITY, March 7 (Reuters) - Mexican annual inflation slowed for a second straight month to its lowest rate in more than two years in February, helped by declines in prices for some agricultural products, data from the national statistics agency showed on Thursday.

Mexican consumer prices rose 3.94 percent in the year through February, the lowest level since late December 2016, and in line with the forecast of a Reuters poll of analysts. In January, the annual inflation rate stood at 4.37 percent.

Consumer prices fell 0.03 percent in February compared with the previous month, the data showed. The core index, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.43 percent from January.

The data showed that a drop in prices for some foodstuffs, such as tomatoes and peppers, had helped lower prices overall in February.

Last month, Mexico’s central bank held its benchmark interest rate steady at 8.25 percent, its highest level in more than a decade. (Reporting by Sharay Angulo; writing by Julia Love; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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