January 8, 2018 / 6:28 PM / 10 months ago

Mexican inflation seen rising to 16-1/2 year high in Dec: Reuters poll

Gas cylinders are pictured in a truck in Mexico City, Mexico January 3, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican inflation likely ticked up in December to its highest rate in 16 1/2 years due to the rising energy and food prices, a Reuters survey of analysts showed on Monday.

The median forecast of 16 financial market analysts polled by Reuters was that inflation in Latin America’s second biggest economy accelerated to 6.75 percent from 6.63 percent in November, which would be the highest level since May 2001.

Inflation surged after the liberalization of gasoline prices at the start of last year, though central bank governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon said on Sunday the rate should slow in January as that factor fades from the consumer price index.

Mexico’s central bank targets inflation of 3 percent, and its board said recently it expects the rate to reach that goal slower than it had previously predicted.

The analysts’ poll also showed the annual core inflation rate was forecast to post a reading of 4.91 percent in December.

Mexican consumer prices likely rose in December by 0.57 percent compared with the previous month, with the core figure up by 0.47 percent on the month, the survey showed.

Mexico’s national statistics agency will publish the December inflation data at 8.00 a.m. local time (1400 GMT) on Tuesday.

Reporting by Sheky Espejo; Editing by Michael O'Boyle

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