June 24, 2019 / 5:36 PM / 4 months ago

UPDATE 1-Mexican inflation up less than expected on energy, farm prices

(Recasts with inflation data, adds April economic growth and details)

MEXICO CITY, June 24 (Reuters) - Mexican inflation rose at a slightly slower-than-expected pace in the first half of June as prices for gasoline, cooking gas and some farm products like onions helped stall the uptick, according to official data released on Monday.

Mexican consumer prices rose 0.01 percent during the first half of June, the national statistics agency said.

Consumer prices were up by an annualized 4.00% during the first half of this month, data from national statistics agency INEGI showed, compared to an expected 4.08% rise previously estimated by a Reuters poll. Prices on an annualized basis rose 4.13% during the second half of May.

Core inflation, which strips out some volatile energy and agricultural prices, was up 3.87% in the year through the first half of June compared to the year-earlier period.

Core inflation climbed 0.16% during the first half of June, the data showed.

Higher prices for chicken and air transport were among the sectors that contributed most to the June inflation figures, while prices for low-octane gasoline as well as cooking and heating gas helped slow the rise.

Meanwhile, the country’s economy grew only slightly in April, up 0.1% compared to the previous month, helped by industrial activity which offset weakness in agriculture, trade and services.

Compared to April of last year, the Mexican economy contracted by 1.4 percent, the INEGI data showed.

The government forecasts economic growth of between 1.1% and 2.1% this year. (Reporting by Sharay Angulo, editing by G Crosse)

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