Mexican consumer prices rose by more than expected during the first half of September, official data showed on Thursday, keeping inflation near a 22-year high and reinforcing expectations of an interest rate hike later this month.

Consumer prices rose 0.41% in early September, national statistics agency INEGI said, while economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.36% increase.

Annual inflation in Latin America's second-largest economy hit 8.76%, against a forecast 8.71%.

Thursday's inflation numbers signal the likelihood of another interest rate hike when Mexico's central bank holds its next monetary policy meeting on Sept. 29.

The half-month figures come a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve increased its target interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point for the third straight time, bringing the rate to its highest level since 2008.

Mexico's closely watched core price index, which strips out some volatile food and energy prices, climbed 0.44% in early September. Economists had projected a 0.42% rise. (Reporting by Brendan O'Boyle and Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)