Mexico’s inflation seen slowing pace in November, ahead of cbank decision
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s headline inflation likely continued to slow in November, a Reuters poll showed Monday, opening the door for the Bank of Mexico to opt for a less aggressive interest rate hike at its Dec. 15 monetary policy meeting.
The median forecast of 14 analysts showed annual inflation at 7.93% in November, down from 8.41% in October and down the over two-decade high of 8.70% in August and September.
Analysts attributed the expected ease in inflation largely to the impact of pre-Christmas offers and discounts known as “Buen Fin” on some goods and services.
Nonetheless, annual core inflation, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, was forecast to hit 8.58%, a level not seen since August 2000, which remains a key concern for Banxico, as the Mexican central bank is known.
Banxico, which has an inflation target of 3%, plus or minus one percentage point, has since its current monetary policy tightening cycle began in June 2021 increased the benchmark rate by 600 basis points to its current level of 10%.
Private sector analysts anticipate Banxico will hike its key rate by 50 basis points at the Dec. 15 meeting, slowing the pace following four consecutive 75 basis points rate increases.
Banxico board member Jonathan Heath, one of the board’s more hawkish members, said in late November the hiking cycle could be nearing its end.
“We still plan to increase the rate a bit more, I don’t think by a lot more. And I believe we are approaching what could be the terminal rate,” he said previously.
In November alone, Mexican consumer prices are set to have grown by 0.70% from the previous month, while the median projection for monthly core inflation was seen at 0.52%.
Mexico’s statistics institute will release inflation data for November on Thursday.
(Reporting by Noe Torres; Additional reporting by Gabriel Burin in Buenos Aires; Editing by Alistair Bell)