UPDATE 1-Mexico inflation 'sticky,' with pressures remaining, cenbanker says

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(Updates with additional information, context)

By Duncan Miriri

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - Inflation has been "really sticky" in Mexico, slightly improving in February but with pressures remaining in core inflation and prices for services, Bank of Mexico deputy governor Irene Espinosa said.

"We are expecting, starting in this second quarter, (for inflation) to start declining," Espinosa told Reuters on the sidelines of a sustainable finance conference in London.

Espinosa said core inflation was stabilizing, describing that as "good news." But she added that the central bank's board was worried about the rise in services prices, which remain well above its target.

Annual headline inflation in the first half of March came in at 7.12%, a drop from the previous month and surprising analysts who had projected a smaller dip.

Espinosa added that the central bank was taking into account the tightening it had already made in its current rate hiking cycle to fight inflation, but that it "would expect to continue to stay restrictive for the whole horizon."

She said the central bank would take into account the U.S. Federal Reserve's Wednesday rate hike of 0.25% in its upcoming monetary policy decision.

"This was a hike that was already announced before so it is good news that there were no surprises," Espinosa said.

Banxico is set to meet next on March 30. Espinosa has previously said the upcoming rate decision could potentially be a smaller hike than its previous 50 basis-point rise. (Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Writing by Kylie Madry Editing by Alistair Bell)