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UPDATE 1-Mexico central bank expected to hold key rate at 8.25 pct on Thursday

Noe Torres


* reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/cb-polls?RIC=MXCBIR%3DECI Poll data (Adds link to poll data, analyst comments, background details)

MEXICO CITY, May 14 (Reuters) - Mexico's central bank is seen holding its key interest rate steady on Thursday amid signs of weakness in the economy, an acceleration of inflation in April and as the U.S. Federal Reserve keeps rates unchanged, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.

The Bank of Mexico, or Banxico, is expected to hold the benchmark rate steady at its current 8.25 percent, the level it has been at since Dec. 20, according to 15 economists and analysts polled by Reuters.

"Considering the jump in April inflation, uncertainty abroad such as the trade war, and the recent dovish Fed statement, (Banxico) will justify its decision to leave rates unchanged," said James Salazar, economist at CI Banco.

Mexican annual inflation accelerated to a four-month high in April, as consumer prices in Latin America's No.2 economy rose by 4.41 percent in the year through April, and climbed by 0.05 percent compared with March.

The U.S. Fed on May 1 held interest rates steady and signaled little appetite to adjust them any time soon, taking heart in continued job gains and economic growth and the likelihood that weak inflation will edge higher.

At its last meeting on March 28, Banxico held the benchmark interest rate steady, flagging economic uncertainty and risks surrounding the credit ratings of both state oil company Pemex and the government.

Banxico will publish its monetary policy decision on Thursday at 13:00 local time (1900 GMT). (Reporting by Noe Torres; Writing by Anthony Esposito; editing by Grant McCool and Bernadette Baum)