June 7, 2019 / 4:21 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico inflation 4.28% in 12 months through May, lower than forecast

(Adds details from inflation report, background from analyst poll)

MEXICO CITY, June 7 (Reuters) - Mexican consumer prices rose by a slower-than-expected 4.28% in the 12 months through May, the national statistics agency said on Friday, as lower prices for electricity, onions and lemons applied downward pressure during the month.

The market had expected a 12-month inflation rate of 4.36%, according to a Reuters poll of analysts this week.

Annual core inflation, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, was measured at 3.77%, in line with analysts’ forecasts.

Core inflation was 0.16% in May alone, also in line with the median forecast in the poll.

The general consumer price index for the month was negative 0.29%, compared with deflation forecasts of 0.22%.

Prices rose for other foodstuffs, including chicken and avocados, during the month, the INEGI statistics agency said in a statement.

Mexico’s central bank, which targets 3% inflation, last month held its benchmark interest rate steady at 8.25%. It also revised its outlook for inflation up to 3.7% at the end of the year, from a prior view of 3.4%. (Reporting by Sharay Angulo; writing by Daina Beth Solomon; editing by Hugh Bronstein and G Crosse)

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