November 22, 2018 / 3:41 PM / 19 days ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico price pressures lower than expected in early November

(Updates with details from report, context)

MEXICO CITY, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Mexican consumer price inflation cooled slightly more than expected during the first half of November, data from the national statistics agency showed on Thursday.

Annual inflation in Latin America’s second-biggest economy eased to 4.56 percent in the first two weeks of November from 4.87 percent in the second half of October, the data showed.

A Reuters poll of economists had forecast an inflation rate of 4.61 percent in early November. The latest figure was the lowest half-month inflation rate since the first two weeks of June, according to official data.

Mexico’s central bank has flagged concerns over price pressures, and last week raised its benchmark interest rate to a nearly 10-year high of 8.0 percent, warning that the incoming government’s policies risked fanning inflation.

The bank targets an inflation rate of 3 percent, with a one percentage point tolerance threshold up or down.

A breakdown of the latest data showed that Mexican consumer prices rose by 0.61 percent during the first half of November compared with the prior month. That compared with a Reuters poll forecast for an increase in prices of 0.66 percent.

The core price index, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, climbed 0.19 percent. (Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom Editing by Susan Thomas)

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