Mexican finance minister says minimum wage hike won't fan inflation, hurt jobs

FILE PHOTO: Mexico's Finance Minister Arturo Herrera gives a speech after he presented the 2020 national budget to Laura Angelica Rojas (not pitured) president of the Lower House of Congress at the Congress building in Mexico City, Mexico September 8, 2019. REUTERS/Luis Cortes

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican Finance Minister Arturo Herrera said on Twitter on Tuesday that a proposed daily minimum wage hike of 20% is part of a strategy to strengthen workers’ purchasing power without fanning inflation or hitting jobs.

The second consecutive major wage increase could make it challenging for the central bank to keep core inflation under control, experts said.

The daily minimum wage will be 123.22 pesos ($6.36) in 2020; in the northern border region, where it was raised by 5%, it will be 185.56 pesos. Nearly 11 million Mexican workers earn the equivalent of a minimum wage.

“This is a historic increase, the biggest in 44 years,” Herrera said in a string of posts on Twitter that were later deleted.

Reporting by Anthony Esposito; editing by Julia Love and Chizu Nomiyama