Mexican inflation seen accelerating in January: poll

A woman buys vegetables at a market stall in Mexico City, Mexico February 22, 2019. Picture taken February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican annual inflation likely accelerated in January, driven by higher prices for food, beverages and tobacco after tax changes at the start of the year, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

The median forecast of 15 analysts was for an inflation rate of 3.26%, up from 2.83% in December.

If confirmed, it would be the highest level of inflation recorded since the rate of 3.78% in July 2019.

Mexico’s central bank targets inflation of 3%, and inflation dipped below that level last year. In December, the bank trimmed interest rates to 7.25%, marking the fourth straight rate cut.

Compared to the previous month, consumer prices likely rose by 0.5%, according to the survey. The core price index, which strips out some volatile items, was seen rising by 0.34% on the month.

The national statistics institute will publish inflation figures for January on Friday.

Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez in Mexico City and Gabriel Burin in Buenos Aires; writing by Julia Love; Editing by David Gregorio