Consumer inflation recorded a slowdown in the first half of the year, which was in line with market expectations, according to data released by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
In the first 15 days of 2022, the National Consumer Price Index (INPC) showed a two-week increase of 0.39%, while prices showed an increase of 7.13 percent in annual comparison.
With this, inflation declined from the figure of 7.26% in the last two weeks of 2021, and declined for three consecutive two weeks; however, it is the highest rate recorded for the beginning of the year since 2001, when inflation at the beginning of the year was 8.37 percent.
The data was in line with market expectations, which according to a Reuters poll expected inflation of 7.13%, this due to less pressure in the non-core item; however, core inflation will still be the main pressure.
Since last year, consumer prices have put various nations in check due to the high levels they have advanced in a situation where the reactivation of the economy has increased the demand for certain products but at the same time generating supply shocks and a shortage of certain goods.
In this way, since March last year, inflation has been above the Bank of Mexico’s (Banxico) target of 3% +/- 1 percentage point, leading the central bank to increase its reference rate.
Within the report, it was observed that the greatest pressure was caused in the underlying item, which is the one that Banxico is considering for decision making and the one that was most affected by the pressure due to the greater demand for certain commodities. This item therefore reached an annual rate of 6.11 percent.
Within core inflation, it was observed that food, beverages and tobacco had the highest prevalence, i.e. a greater weight in the general index. These goods became 8.67% more expensive annually in the first two weeks of the year, while non-food goods rose by 6.81 per cent.
At the beginning of the year, the IEPS for soft drinks and cigarettes was updated, which meant, for example, that the latter showed an increase in their selling price, from 66 to 70 pesos in some cities of the country.
In the case of services, it maintained lower inflation, with an annual increase of 4.24 percent.
Non-core inflation, on the other hand, showed a rate of 10.21% in the first half of January. Inside, the pressure arose in fruits and vegetables, of which the increase was 19.64%, while energy products were 7.83 percent.
Lemon, for heaven’s sake
Since the beginning of the year, it has been reported that the price of lemons has started to rise and in some cities has reached 80 pesos per kilo. According to the Inegi, it was this generic drug with an upward price that had the largest weight in biweekly inflation as it rose by 36.84% compared to the previous two weeks.
This was followed by petrol magnate, which although its increase was only 0.98%, the weight it had in the general index was greater. Meanwhile, lunch shops, inns, tortillas and taquerias became 0.92% more expensive, while potatoes and other tubers became 11.62% and cigarettes 3.62 percent.
In contrast, the goods and products with falling prices that showed a greater weight in inflation were tomatoes, the price of which fell by 15.21% in the first two weeks of the year. This was followed by air transport and tourist package services, with 33.66 and 12.41% respectively.
Meanwhile, domestic MP gas lowered its price by 1.14% and green tomato by 10.93 percent.