MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican headline inflation likely increased in the first half of December, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday, while the closely monitored core rate likely continued its decline.
The expected slight acceleration of the headline rate would follow an uptick last month, which put the breaks on months of cooling inflation and reinforced a hawkish approach at the Bank of Mexico, known as Banxico.
A median forecast of 12 analysts predicts annual headline inflation of 4.36% for the first two weeks of the month, which would be the third consecutive 15-day period of inflation accelerating after reaching its lowest level since March 2021.
The closely watched core index, which strips out some highly volatile energy and food prices, is seen falling to 5.24% in early December, which would be its lowest level since October 2021.
Compared to the previous two weeks, analysts estimated headline inflation rose 0.40%, while core inflation was up 0.50%.
Last week, the central bank held Mexico’s benchmark interest rate at a record high of 11.25% for a sixth consecutive monetary policy meeting, saying progress on slowing inflation had been made and a rate cut could be discussed early next year, even as challenges remain.
Mexico’s national statistics agency will publish official inflation data for the first two weeks of December on Thursday.
(Report by Noe Torres; Additional reporting by Gabriel Burin in Buenos Aires; Editing by Sandra Maler)