(New throughout, adds details on report) MEXICO CITY, May 9 (Reuters) - The pace of Mexican consumer price gains through April this year cooled more than expected to its lowest level since late 2016, official data showed on Wednesday, supporting expectations the central bank could leave interest rates steady. Annual inflation rose 4.55 percent during the period, the national statistics agency said, below expectations in a Reuters poll and the slowest pace since December 2016. Inflation is easing from a 16-1/2 year high in 2017 and Mexico's central bank is expected to hold its benchmark interest rate steady next week for the second meeting in a row after raising borrowing costs to a nine-year high of 7.50 percent Month-on-month, consumer prices fell 0.34 percent in April, according to non-seasonally adjusted figures, as summer electricity subsidies kicked in. The core index, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.15 percent during the month . (Reporting by Mexico City Newsroom; Editing by David Gregorio)
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