January 24, 2019 / 3:00 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico inflation lower than expected in early January

(Adds details on monthly, annual inflation data)

MEXICO CITY, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Mexican consumer prices rose at a milder pace than forecast during the first half of January, the national statistics agency said on Thursday.

Inflation was 0.11 percent in the first half of January, compared with a Reuters forecast for 0.27 percent.

Annual inflation stood at 4.52 percent in the year through the first half of January. The January data came in below estimates for 4.69 percent.

The central bank forecasts inflation will be close to its 3 percent target by the first half of 2020.

The closely watched core price index, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, climbed 0.08 percent in early January.

At the Dec. 20 monetary policy meeting, most of Mexico’s central bank board saw upside risks to inflation and hinted at further interest rate hikes to control prices, minutes of that meeting showed. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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