PREVIEW-Mexico inflation seen falling in early March

WHAT: Mexico first-half March inflation

WHEN: Thursday, March 24, at 9 a.m. (1500 GMT)

REUTERS FORECAST: Annual inflation of 3.32 percent in
first-half March vs 3.63 pct first-half Feb, according to
median forecast. Consumer prices likely rose 0.27 percent in
early March, while core prices likely increased 0.22 percent.

Ten economists were polled, though all did not provide
forecasts for all three indicators.

FACTORS TO WATCH: Mexico’s annual inflation rate likely
decelerated in early March as the economy continues to
strengthen without putting big pressure on wages or prices.

Most analysts expect the central bank will wait until early
2012 to raise its target rate for interbank lending from 4.5
percent due to continued weakness in the economy.

MARKET IMPACT: If some component indicators such as food
are uncommonly high or the overall index surprises on the
upside investors might bet that the central bank will raise
interest rates sooner than expected. That could send up yields
in the interest rate swaps market (MXNIRS2=: Quote, Profile, Research).

Central bank website for inflation data:

All Mexico economic data (ECONALLMX: Quote, Profile, Research)

Today’s data (ECONMX: Quote, Profile, Research)
(Reporting by Noe Torres, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama )

PREVIEW-Mexico inflation seen falling in early March