Photo: Financial Express

By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS

Mexico’s annual inflation rate reached 6.05 percent in the first quarter of 2021, its highest level since December 2017, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).

In a report issued on Thursday, April 22, the Inegi said that the National Consumer Price Index (INPC) registered a 6.05 percent annual variation in the first half of April, affected mainly by an accelerated surge in energy prices.

This figure is the highest since the second half of December 2017, when inflation reached at 6.85 percent.

Asked about the sudden rise in inflation during his daily morning press conference on Thursday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said that it represented a temporary surge.

“Yes, inflation went up in March, but will come down again soon,” he said, without elongating on the topic.

The underlying price index, which excludes products with high price volatility from its accounting, slowed down to 4.13 percent on annual rate, after reaching 4.15 percent in the second half of February.

Meanwhile, the non-core balance, which takes into account products that present high volatility in their prices, such as agricultural products and fuels, stood at a 12.21 percent annual rate, the highest since the second half of December of 2017, when it reached 13.04 percent.

Overall, agricultural products prices presented a variation of 3.63 percent, while those of energy and tariffs authorized by the government registered a 19.43 percent hike compared to the same period last year.

According to the Inegi, the products that increased the most in price and that had a greater impact on inflation during the first half of April were domestic LP gas, at 37.13 percent, high-octane and low-octane gasoline, at 34.85 percent and 33.51 percent, respectively, melons, at 23.65 percent, and lemons, at 17.07 percent.

Conversely, the products that registered price decreases included electricity, with a12.03 percent drop in cost, potato sand other tubers, down 8.88 percent, and tourism service packages, down 7.20 percent.

The Mexican states that registered the highest inflation increases were Tlaxcala, Morelos, Guerrero and Puebla.

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