UPDATE 1-Mexico annual inflation quickens at fastest pace in over 8 yrs

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MEXICO CITY, June 8 (Reuters) - Mexico's annual inflation quickened to its fastest pace in more than eight years as consumer prices rose 6.16 percent for the year through May, government data showed on Thursday.

A Reuters poll forecast a 6.15 percent annual inflation rate.

Consumer prices fell 0.12 percent in May from the previous month, on summer energy subsidies, according to non-seasonally adjusted figures.

The core consumer price index, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.28 percent during the month, the statistics institute said.

Earlier this month, Mexican central bank deputy governor Javier Guzman said it was "impossible to say" whether the bank's rate hike cycle was over after it unexpectedly pushed its benchmark interest rate up by 25 basis points to an eight-year high of 6.75 percent last month.

Guzman said it was possible the economy would require more hikes in 2017. But he said he expected Mexico's inflation to begin declining significantly in the second half of the year.

Mexico liberalized state-controlled gasoline prices at the start of the year, driving them up as much as 20 percent.

Guzman said it was that pressure along with an increase in merchandise and agriculture prices and what he called a significant depreciation of the Mexican peso that led to the country's elevated inflation.

The easing of those factors, coupled with the bank's string of aggressive rate hikes, should help lead to a sizable reduction in inflation.

A recent peso rally should also help counteract inflationary pressures, the head of Mexico's central bank said this week.

Banco de Mexico Governor Agustin Carstens made the comments after the peso rallied following a win by the ruling party candidate in a key state governor's race on Sunday. (Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)