(Recasts with details on consumer prices) MEXICO CITY, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Mexican inflation rose in July to its highest level since March, ticking up for a second month in a row, driven by volatile gasoline and tomato prices, official data showed on Thursday. Mexican consumer prices rose 4.81 percent in the year through July, the national statistics agency said, compared with a 4.80 percent rate projected in a Reuters poll and the highest since a 5.04 percent rate in March. Earlier this year, inflation had been falling back from a 16-1/2-year high hit at the end of 2017, but the monthly rate has ticked up for two months in a row. Mexico's central bank held its benchmark interest rate steady at an over nine-year high of 7.75 percent last week. Policymakers said gasoline prices would have a transitory impact and that core inflation would keep falling. Most economists expect the next move by the central bank will be to cut rates, with the median of a Banamex poll this week predicting a cut in April next year. Consumer prices rose 0.54 percent in July, according to non-seasonally adjusted figures. Higher gasoline prices weighed the most, followed by rising tomato prices. The core index, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.29 percent during the month . (Reporting by Michael O'Boyle and Sharay Angulo; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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