Mexico's consumer price index jumped 7.2 percent in February, bringing the cumulative price rise for 1987's first two months to 15.9 percent, the highest in four years, the central bank announced.
Last month's price index increase was the highest February inflation rate ever registered in Mexico, according to central bank figures. It also marked the biggest January-February price rise since 1983, when Mexico was at the peak of the worst inflationary curve of its modern history. In 1986, by contrast, Mexico's consumer price index rose 13.5 percent, up from 11.9 percent in 1985.Private economists said the new figures show that Mexico is unlikely to achieve its stated goal of lowering inflation in 1987 to 70 percent or 80 percent from last year's 105 percent, and all-time high.
Government officials blamed the record 1986 inflation rate on the shock of falling oil prices and the refusal of foreign banks to compensate for the income loss with new credits. The foreign exchange shortfall eroded the value of Mexico's currency, producing an inflation-generating increase in import costs, while forcing the government to rely on deficit financing to meet basic expenditures, officials argued.
This year, however, independent analysts note, Mexico has received substantial loans from multilateral banks. It also has posted unexpectedly high export income gains as a result of the world oil market's recent recovery.