May 23, 2019 / 1:37 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico inflation slightly lower than expected in early May

(Adds details)

MEXICO CITY, May 23 (Reuters) - Mexican consumer price inflation was slightly lower than expected in the first half of May, data from the national statistics agency showed on Thursday.

In the year through early May, consumer prices rose by 4.43%, just below the consensus forecast of economists polled by Reuters for a reading of 4.48%. During the whole of April, annual inflation was at 4.41%.

Compared with the previous two-week period, prices fell by 0.3% during the first half of May, the figures showed. The Reuters poll had forecast a price decline of 0.25%.

The core price index, which strips out some volatile food and energy costs, showed an annual increase in prices of 3.77%. Compared with the previous two-week period, prices in the core index climbed by 0.09% in early May.

Mexico’s central bank aims for inflation of 3%, with a one percentage point tolerance threshold above or below that target. (Reporting by Dave Graham; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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