Mexico’s central bank on Thursday raised its benchmark interest rate for a second consecutive time to try to rein in inflation as the pandemic-hit economy bounces back. The governing board decided to increase the inter-bank rate by 25 basis points, to 4.5 percent, the Bank of Mexico said in a statement. In June the central bank raised official borrowing costs for the first time in more than two years, following a series of cuts to boost Latin America’s second-largest economy. The Bank of Mexico is worried about inflation that stood at more than 5.8 percent in June on an annual basis — far above its target of around 3.0 percent. Although the causes of increased price pressures are expected to be “transitory,” there are inflation dangers lurking on the horizon, the central bank said. The quarter point rate rise “suggests that the tightening cycle will continue to proceed slowly despite the growing inflation risks,” Capital Economics analyst Nikhil Sanghani wrote in a note to clients. “This reinforces our view that the policy rate will continue to rise over the coming months to 5.50 percent by the first quarter of 2022,” he added. Mexico’s economy shrank 8.5 percent in 2020, in the worst slump since the great depression some nine decades ago, but it has since started to rebound. The country of 126 million has an official coronavirus death toll of around 246,000 — one of the highest in the world. Despite another wave of Covid-19 infections, authorities in the capital and elsewhere are reluctant to impose new lockdown measures that would hit the economy, emphasizing the importance of vaccines instead.