February 18, 2017 / 2:41 AM / a year ago

Mexico says gasoline costs to fall slightly, prices set daily next week

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s Finance Ministry said on Friday that national gasoline prices would fall 2 Mexican cents per liter on Saturday, but prices would be set daily beginning next week as the country moves toward a free market in gasoline.

The ministry said in a statement that maximum prices would be published daily, with Saturday’s price holding until the next update on Tuesday.

Prices will be set going forward on the web page of the Energy Regulator Commision (www.gob.mx/cre).

Mexico raised gasoline prices at the start of the year, and the 14 percent hike in regular gas prices sparked protests and looting around the country. The hike helped drive the annual inflation rate in January to its highest level in more than four years.

The government is expected to adjust the amount of tax it charges on gasoline in a bid to moderate price fluctuations this year.

In its statement, the government said a rebound in oil prices above estimates used in the 2017 budget and a stronger exchange rate “allow for more gradual movements” in gasoline prices “in a fiscally responsible way.”

Reporting by Ana Isabel Martinez; Editing by Leslie Adler

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