MEXICO CITY, Feb 13 (Reuters) - Mexico's central bank is seen cutting its benchmark interest rate for a fifth straight meeting later on Thursday amid a stagnant economy, and could take a more dovish tone in its post meeting statement.
"The persistent weakness of the real economy, decelerating credit growth, and a well anchored Mexican peso, should prompt the monetary policy committee to continue to remove the restrictive bias of monetary policy," Goldman Sachs economist Alberto Ramos said in a note to clients.
Mexico's economy contracted last year for the first time in a decade, as businesses curbed investment due to concern over the economic management of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Meanwhile, annual inflation rose 3.24% in the year through January, slightly above the bank's target of 3.0%.
"A 25 basis points rate cut and dovish guidance would be justified," Ramos added.
A Reuters poll found that 23 of 24 analysts surveyed expected the Bank of Mexico, known as Banxico, to lower the rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 7.0%, which would be the bank's fifth rate cut since August.
The central bank will publish its monetary policy statement on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. local time (1900 GMT). (Reporting by Anthony Esposito Editing by Nick Zieminski)