Economy

Mexico inflation almost unchanged in June, while Brazil annual inflation rises to 5-year high

While Mexican annual inflation was virtually unchanged in June, Brazilian inflation in June hit its highest in nearly five years

Photo: REUTERS/Gustavo Graf
  • The Mexican central bank last month unexpectedly raised its key interest rate to 4.25% in a bid to anchor inflation expectations;
  • In Brazil, the 8.4% annual rate of inflation in June was up from 8.1% the previous month and the highest since September 2016, IBGE said.

Mexican annual inflation was virtually unchanged in June, slowing slightly less than expected and remaining well above the central bank’s target rate, official data showed on Thursday. Meanwhile, Brazilian inflation in June hit its highest in nearly five years, with the annual rate of 8.4% more than double the central bank’s year-end goal and likely to bolster the case for another aggressive hike in borrowing costs next month.

Annual consumer price inflation in Latin America‘s no. 2 economy dipped last month to 5.88% from 5.89% in May, according to figures published by national statistics agency INEGI.

In Mexico, compared with the previous month, prices rose in June by 0.53%, the data showed. The core price index, which strips out some volatile items, was up by 0.57% on the month.

READ ALSO: An inflation red alert has suddenly sounded for LatAm central banks

The Mexican central bank, which targets an inflation rate of 3% with a one percentage point tolerance threshold above and below that, last month unexpectedly raised its key interest rate to 4.25% in a bid to anchor inflation expectations.

In Brazil, with policymakers acutely aware that inflation is well on track to exceed this year’s target, the latest solid rise in consumer prices could deepen their unease by further threatening to unmoor inflation expectations for next year.

The monthly rate of inflation slowed to 0.53% from 0.83% in May, statistics agency IBGE said, as expected.

The rise was driven by a 1.10% increase in housing costs, which include electricity. This accounted for around a quarter of the overall monthly rise in prices.

The 8.4% annual rate of inflation in June was up from 8.1% the previous month and the highest since September 2016, IBGE said.

READ ALSO: Venture capital, an oxygen tank for Latino entrepreneurs in times of crisis

Eight of the nine categories surveyed by IBGE showed rising prices in June. The biggest drivers after housing costs were a 0.43% rise in food and drink prices and a 0.41% increase in transport costs, which include fuel. Both accounted for around a fifth of the overall increase, IBGE said.

Brazil‘s central bank’s year-end inflation goal is 3.75%, with a 1.5 percentage point margin of error on either side. These latest figures show inflation significantly higher than even the 5.25% upper limit of that range.

The worry for central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto and his colleagues is that this seeps into next year’s outlook, forcing the bank into tightening policy even quicker and more aggressively than it is already doing.

Brazilian central bank’s 2022 inflation goal is 3.50%.

Get the best insights about Latin America market in your inbox