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Mexican central bank cuts rates for 4th time in 2019

Mexico's central bank made its fourth rate cut of 2019 as the country's economy continues to show signs of weakness.

Banco de México's five-member Governing Board voted to lower the overnight interbank interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.25%, following a similar rate cut in November. One Banxico board member voted for a 50-basis-point rate cut.

The central bank expects the sluggish economic activity observed in previous quarters to continue, as "significant uncertainty" stemming from the weakened credit outlooks for state oil company Petróleos Mexicanos SA de CV and Mexico's sovereign debt, continuing domestic fiscal challenges, the ongoing global economic slowdown, and internal security issues weigh on the country's growth.

Banxico noted that despite Mexico's financial markets experiencing volatility due to political and economic crises elsewhere in Latin America, the Mexican peso exchange rate and financial assets stayed largely positive. The central bank credited its monetary policy stance and the U.S. House of Representatives' recent deal with the Trump administration to advance a revised version of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Mexico was the first country to ratify the deal, to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, in June.

Headline inflation eased to 2.97% in November from 3.02% in October, while core inflation decreased to 3.65% from 3.68%.