Mexico inflation rate hits four-month high
MEXICO CITY, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Mexico's inflation rate rose to 4.81 percent in July, the highest in four months, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi) said on Thursday.
The increase was fueled by higher gasoline prices, as well as the price of green tomatoes.
July's figure was higher than the 4.65 percent registered in June, and the highest rate since March, when it hit 5.04 percent, according to the Inegi.
The central Bank of Mexico has a permanent inflation target of 3 percent, with a one percent margin up or down.
In its monthly report, Inegi indicated that the national consumer price index grew 0.54 percent in July.
Among the products that contributed to the higher rate were low octane gas, whose price rose 1.81 percent, and green tomatoes, which saw a price increase of 49.69 percent in July compared to the previous month.
On the other hand, the price of chicken fell 3.27 percent during the month, while the price of eggs fell 3.19 percent during the same time period, according to Inegi.
Underlying inflation, the reference point used in the central bank's monetary policy decisions, was 0.29 percent in July, placing the yearly index at 3.63 percent.
Financial group Citibanamex said in a note to clients that the upturn in energy prices could continue over the coming months.
"But up until now, we see no significant impacts on the prices of other products," Citibanamex said.
In fact, Citibanamex expects July to mark peak inflation, meaning it could see a correction and close the year at 4.2 percent.
On August 2, the central bank said inflation could continue upward due to the uncertainty sparked by the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Negotiating teams from Mexico, Canada and the United States are looking to speed up the process which began in August of last year.