(Updates with details on inflation)
MEXICO CITY, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Mexican consumer price inflation was higher than expected in the first half of December, official data showed on Friday, lending weight to the central bank’s warning that price pressures in Latin America’s no. 2 economy had grown.
Mexican annual inflation reached 5.00 percent in the first two weeks of December, the national statistics agency said. That compared with the consensus forecast of a Reuters poll of economists for a reading of 4.74 percent.
Mexican inflation was 4.72 percent in November.
On Thursday, the central bank hiked its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points and warned of uncertainty caused in part by the new leftist government’s economic policies, as well as the risk of higher inflation.
On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.56 percent during the first half of December, the data showed. The Reuters poll had forecast an increase of 0.31 percent.
The closely watched core price index, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, climbed 0.42 percent in early December, also more than expected. (Reporting by Dave Graham; editing by Jonathan Oatis)