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Mexico central bank maintains benchmark rate at 7%

Banco de México left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 7%, saying inflation "seems to be nearing to a peak," The Wall Street Journal reported.

The report said voting policymakers of the central bank unanimously decided to maintain the interest rate after seven consecutive rate hikes.

The central bank expects inflation to start slowing down late in 2017 and to be close to the target by the end of 2018, according to the report.

Finance Minister José Antonio Meade told Bloomberg TV on June 21 that Mexico could start to cut the rate as early as the end of 2017.

"Monetary-policy wise, the inflation expectations are well anchored, and what the markets are seeing is potentially another couple of increases this year, but they're starting to predict that the interest rate could start coming down as early as the end of this year or at the beginning of next, and I think they're right," Meade told Bloomberg.