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Mexico Economists Raise Inflation Forecast for Fourth Month

Mexico economists raised their inflation forecasts for a fourth consecutive month even as effects of the worst drought on record began to wane, a survey by the central bank showed.

Annual inflation will end this year at 3.88 percent, up from 3.79 percent forecast in the previous poll, according to the survey of 27 analysts and consulting firms released on the bank’s website today.

Consumer prices rose at the slowest pace since June in the first half of February as food prices pared gains that had caused annual inflation to rise in the four previous months. Prices climbed 0.07 percent, the national statistics agency reported Feb. 23, while the central bank analysts survey was taken between Feb. 14 and Feb. 28.

Inflation had quickened to 4.05 percent in January as the drought damaged staples such as corn and beans. Mexico targets annual inflation of 3 percent, plus or minus one percentage point.

The National Statistics Agency, or Inegi, reports inflation for the month of February on March 8.

Economists estimated in today’s survey that the economy will grow 3.34 percent this year, up from 3.33 percent in the previous survey.

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