Brazilian prices rose in July at an annual rate of 2.71%, the lowest for 18 years, the government statistics office said Wednesday. This was good news for consumers in Latin America's biggest economy, which is inching out of its deepest recession in history, and was considered likely to lead to sharper interest rate cuts.
Brazil's Central Bank cut the key interest rate by a full one percentage point on Wednesday in an effort to inject life into the floundering economy. This was the fifth straight cut, taking the key Selic rate to 11.25%.
Brazil's annual inflation eased to the lowest rate since 2010 and came very close to the government's long-missed target, leaving the door open for the central bank to accelerate the pace of interest rate cuts next week.
Consumer prices rose less than expected in Brazil in January for the fifth straight month, increasing the chances of steeper interest rate cuts and a stronger economic recovery as the inflation rate falls toward the government's long-missed target.
Brazil's inflation finished 2016 within the official target range, government data showed on Wednesday. Consumer prices rose 6.29% last year slowing from an increase of 10.67% in 2015 and below the 6.5% ceiling of the official goal.
Brazil's annual inflation rate in October fell below 8% for the first time since February 2015, keeping the door open for small interest rate cuts as a deep recession lingers. Prices rose 7.87% in the 12 months through October, down from an annual increase of 8.48% in the previous month, statistics bureau IBGE said.
Brazilian president Michel Temer said that the economic adjustment implemented by Brazil is inspired in the program of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who led the UK from 1979 to 1990. As Thatcher use to say and we are following in Brazil, containing government expenditure is necessary because we are only going to spend collected revenue.
Brazil's central bank expects annual inflation to ease below the government's 4.5% target in 2017 after years of hovering well above that goal, leaving the door open for cutting some of the world's highest interest rates as early as October. The bank also held its estimate for an economic contraction of 3.1% in 2016, but it expects the economy to grow 1.3% in 2017.
Inflation in Brazil rose more sharply in July than economists expected, official data showed, raising pressure on the central bank to keep interest rates on hold for some time.
Brazil's interim president announced austerity measures on Tuesday aimed at pulling Latin America's largest economy from its worst crisis in decades, warning that a failure to act would sentence future generations to “extraordinary hardship.” Speaking with government leaders in a national televised meeting, interim president Michel Temer, 75, also banged his hand on the table while insisting he was up to the job.