Mexico's Central Bank Lifts Rates to Nine-Year High
By Juan Montes
MEXICO CITY -- The Bank of Mexico lifted interest rates by a quarter percentage point Thursday to a nine-year-high, amid stubbornly high inflation and investor expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve may raise rates faster than previously thought.
The overnight interest-rate target stands now at 7.5%, the highest since February 2009. The move was expected by most economists and follows a similar move in December.
In its policy statement, the central bank left the door open to additional rate increases. The bank said it "will act in a timely, firm way to keep inflation expectations anchored."
The decision was unanimous. The policy meeting was the first attended by Irene Espinosa, who was appointed last month as the first woman ever on the bank's five-member board. It was the second meeting for Bank of Mexico chief Alejandro Díaz de León, who took the governor's post in December.
Some analysts said the newcomers are probably seeking to assure investors of their inflation-fighting credentials.
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