MEXICO CENTRAL BANK CUTS INTEREST RATES

Mexico’s central bank on Thursday cut its benchmark interest rate for the first time since September, flagging uncertainty over the economic outlook and global efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

Battered by the pandemic, Mexico’s economy last year suffered its biggest contraction since the Great Depression in the 1930s, shrinking by 8.5%, according to preliminary data.

The Bank of Mexico’s (Banxico) five board members voted unanimously to lower borrowing costs by 25 basis points to 4%, in line with the consensus forecast of a Reuters poll of economists earlier this week.

Banxico, which had kept rates unchanged at its last two meetings, said the balance of risks for inflation was uncertain, as was the outlook for economic activity. Risks for the economy were tilted downward, with ample slack, it said.