(Adds central bank comments)
MEXICO CITY, April 12 (Reuters) - Mexico’s central bank board members thought they had tightened borrowing costs enough to contain the risks from a slump in the peso and a hike in gasoline prices with last month’s rate hike, minutes showed on Wednesday.
Policymakers voted 5 to 0 to raise the bank’s key rate by 25 basis points to 6.50 percent at their March 30 meeting, when they raised borrowing costs for the fifth meeting in a row to a nearly 8-year high.
However, all members thought they had room to slow the pace of hikes to a 25 basis-point move from a string of half-percentage-point hikes after a big rally in the peso.
Most members believed the 325 basis points they had raised rates since late 2015 was “an appropriate posture to face the shocks that have been seen so far,” the minutes said.
The Banco de Mexico raised rates in late March after the U.S. Federal Reserve increased borrowing costs by a quarter-percentage point.
One member thought that Mexico may not even need to hike again when the Fed next moves but another member thought Mexico may need to hike more later this year.
Mexico’s annual inflation rate in March rose above 5 percent to its highest in more than seven-and-a-half years, but minutes showed most policymakers thought the rate should trend back toward their 3-percent target by the end of next year.
Mexico had hiked interest rates to contain inflation after the peso tumbled to successive historic lows.
But the peso has rallied back on bets that U.S. President Donald Trump will not impose big tariffs on Mexican exports to the United States, and as initial trade talks have taken a more positive tone.
All members agreed that market conditions around the peso had “improved greatly.” (Reporting by Michael O‘Boyle and Gabriel Startgardter; Editing by Alistair Bell)