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Mexico Retail Sales Rise Again

Mexico Retail Sales Rise AgainMexico Retail Sales Rise Again

Mexican retail sales rose for the second time in three months in April, official data showed, pointing to continued support for Latin America’s second biggest economy from private consumption.

Retail sales climbed by 1.2% month on month in April when adjusted for seasonal swings, according to data from the national statistics office. Compared with the same month a year earlier, sales were up by 1.4%, Reuters reported.

Private spending has been a pillar of support for the Mexican economy in recent months, and reports from the private sector suggest it is still holding up.

Mexican retail group ANTAD said earlier this month sales at stores open for at least a year rose by 5.7% in May compared with the same month in 2016.

Mexico’s central bank has raised its benchmark interest rate a quarter-point to 7% in an effort to limit inflation. The country’s medium-term inflation target is 3%, but prices have been rising recently at an annual rate of 6%.

Treasury Secretary Jose Antonio Meade said two further increases are possible as the Bank of Mexico seeks to slow inflation below 4% by 2018.

The central bank’s Thursday statement cites external risks to Mexico’s economy such as uncertain US policies, geopolitical tensions and weak oil prices. Nevertheless, it expresses confidence in the strength of the global economy for the rest of 2017 and 2018.

The hike comes just eight days after the US Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate from 1% to 1.25%.

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