* Analysts see inflation over 4 pct by year-end
* Raise 2012 inflation forecast for third month
* Growth seen stronger this year and next
MEXICO CITY, Sept 3 Analysts following Mexico's
economy raised their inflation expectations for the third month
in a row and now see consumer prices just overshooting the
central bank's ceiling by year-end.
A monthly poll of economists, banks and brokerages showed on
Monday expectations for annual inflation of 4.01 percent for
2012, up from a 3.91 percent rise expected in the last monthly
poll. Inflation estimates for 2013 rose to 3.71 percent from
The annual inflation rate accelerated to its
highest in more than two years at 4.45 percent in early August
due to a spike in fresh food prices, which the central bank has
said is temporary and therefore does not justify raising
interest rates from the current 4.5 percent.
In its last inflation report on Aug. 15, the central bank
forecast annual inflation would fall below 4 percent by the end
of the year but said it was looking closely for signs that the
current high rate was leading to more generalized price
Inflation expectations are one key measure of second-round
effects but analysts said the latest increase was not too much
of a concern.
"(The forecast) is still within the Banco de Mexico's range,
I don't think one basis point is anything to lose sleep over,"
said Esteban Velazquez, analyst with Allianz Fondika.
Banco Santander economist Rafael Camarena said high world
food prices would keep inflation elevated in coming months but
he did not see signs of knock-on effects on other prices.
Analysts polled by the central bank also raised their
estimates for economic growth. The poll showed a forecast of
3.75 percent for economic growth this year, compared with
estimates in the last poll for 3.71 percent. Analysts now see
2013 growth at 3.44 percent, compared to 3.40 percent earlier.
The outlook is in line with an increase in new orders in
Mexico's manufacturing sector in August, although the pace of
growth eased slightly in the month.
The HSBC Mexico Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index
(PMI) dipped to 55.1 in August from 55.2 in July,
after adjusting for seasonal variation.
The reading above 50 indicated factory activity continued to
expand, only less rapidly. New orders rose to 58.52 from 57.55
in July and export orders also rose.
Government data on Aug. 24 showed exports rebounded in July
on better U.S. demand for manufactured goods and if that
continues in August, it will be a positive sign for
third-quarter growth in Latin America's No. 2 economy, which is
closely tied to the United States.
Separate data showed remittances sent back by Mexicans
living abroad fell in July for the first time in nearly two
years, reflecting weakness in U.S. construction activity, which
employs many of the estimated 11 million Mexicans living in the
But despite the 2.1 percent dip, remittances for the first
seven months of the year were up 4.8 percent on the same time
last year at $13.7 billion, the central bank said.