December 7, 2020

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican annual consumer price inflation likely dipped in November to its lowest level in five months, as downward pressure on fruit and vegetable prices and a nationwide shopping holiday boosted demand, a Reuters poll showed on Monday.

The median forecast of 15 analysts surveyed expected inflation to reach 3.42%, down from 4.09% in October.

If the forecast holds, it would mark the lowest consumer inflation rate since the indicator reached 3.33% last June.

The central bank, known locally as Banxico, last month held its benchmark lending rate steady at 4.25% following a 1 1/2-year stretch of rate cuts, saying that lower borrowing costs would help pull inflation closer to its +/- 3% target.

Banxico’s next monetary policy meeting is scheduled for Dec. 17.

Analysts surveyed by the bank separately expect its main interest rate to end the year unchanged at 4.25%, which would be 25 basis points higher than the poll’s previous forecast.

In November, prices overall likely rose 0.17% while the core inflation rate, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, fell 0.05%, the Reuters poll found. It also saw annual core inflation at 3.70%.

National statistics agency INEGI will release the official November consumer inflation figures on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Miguel Angel Gutierrez; Writing by David Alire Garcia; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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