February 7, 2020 / 4:45 PM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 1-Mexican annual inflation rises above central bank's target

(Adds economist’s comments, background)

MEXICO CITY, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Mexican consumer prices rose 3.24% in the year through January, the national statistics agency said on Friday, rising slightly above the central bank’s target for the first time in five months.

Inflation increased from 2.83% in the year through December, on the back of food, beverages and tobacco prices.

Consumer prices rose 0.48% in January, according to non-seasonally adjusted figures.

The core index, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.33% during the month.

The Bank of Mexico has warned that a minimum wage hike enacted by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s government could fan inflation and make it difficult to bring consumer prices to the bank’s 3% target in 2020.

“The quest for the monetary authority in 2020 is to drive core (inflation) further down and to prevent the large 20% increase in the minimum wage and the likely upward pressure on costs from contaminating core prices,” Goldman Sachs economist Alberto Ramos said in a note to clients.

Mexico’s government in December agreed to raise the daily minimum wage by a fifth, the biggest wage hike in the last four and a half decades and the second consecutive major increase in as many years. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Richard Chang)

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