July 9, 2018 / 1:40 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Mexico June inflation quickens more than expected, peso weakens

(New throughout, adds details from report)

MEXICO CITY, July 9 (Reuters) - Mexico’s annual inflation rate accelerated more than expected in June due to a rise in fuel and energy prices, the national statistics agency said on Monday, which could put pressure on the central bank to raise interest rates.

The annual inflation rate, which had slowed for five consecutive months before Monday’s data, rose 4.65 percent in the year through June, the national statistics agency said.

A Reuters poll predicted annual inflation accelerating to 4.57 percent in June.

After the data was published, Mexico’s peso reversed gains and turned negative, weakening around 0.2 percent against the dollar.

Banxico’s five-board members voted unanimously on June 21 to raise the country’s benchmark interest rate to a more than nine-year high of 7.75 percent in the final monetary policy meeting before leftist Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador resoundingly won the July 1 presidential election.

In minutes of the meeting, published last week, all of the board members thought inflation could cool more slowly than expected due to recent shocks, and warned they may need to hike interest rates again if conditions worsen.

Prices have been under pressure due to peso weakness, sparked by fears surrounding the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The United States, Mexico and Canada are currently in talks to redraw the agreement, which U.S. President Donald Trump says is unfavorable to U.S. workers.

Additionally, liquid petroleum gas prices rose 5.85 percent during the month, while gasoline prices were up 1.45 percent, the statistics agency said,

Consumer prices rose 0.39 percent in June, according to non-seasonally adjusted figures, the statistics agency said.

The core index, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.23 percent during the month. (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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