Mexico president reaches agreement with companies to maintain basic food prices

MEXICO CITY, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday he had reached an agreement with companies to maintain prices of basic food items, as inflation continues to tick up.

It was a unanimous decision, he said during a regular news conference, without confirming the final number of companies involved but noting that they included producers and distributors of corn, chicken, eggs and beef.

The president said earlier this week that 20 companies would take part in the meeting and would target 24 basic food items.

Lopez Obrador added Friday he will announce new measures to tame inflation on Oct. 3, though he said he had ruled out unilateral price controls on food.

Mexican consumer prices rose more than expected during the first half of September, official data showed on Thursday, keeping inflation near a 22-year high.

Annual inflation in Latin America’s second-largest economy hit 8.76%.

Data for the first 15 days of September showed food, beverage and tobacco prices rose 13.27% year-on-year.

Lopez Obrador also announced on Friday plans for a “considerable” rise in the minimum wage, in an additional effort to ease inflationary pressures.

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