Brazil held interest rates steady for the seventh straight time on Wednesday, resisting pressure to slash borrowing costs amid a recession as inflation remains near double digits. In a unanimous vote, the central bank's monetary policy committee, Copom, decided at its last meeting led by governor Alexandre Tombini to keep its benchmark Selic rate at 14.25%, the highest in nearly a decade.
Brazil's interim government on Tuesday confirmed the lead economist of the country's largest private bank to head the central bank, in a further shift away from the interventionist policies that many blame for deep recession and near double-digit inflation.
Brazil's Vice President Michel Temer could wait until June to appoint a new central bank chief if he takes over the reins of power this week, as part of a gradual transition to replace the bank's eight-member board, his spokesman said on Wednesday.
Brazil's central bank left its benchmark interest rate on hold at 14.25% for a sixth consecutive time, amid stubbornly high inflation and political uncertainty. The bank which makes rate decisions eight times a year has held its key Selic rate steady since the last of seven consecutive hikes in July 2015.
Brazil's central bank kept interest rates on hold on Wednesday as widely expected, opting to avoid inflicting more harm on an economy mired in its worst recession in decades despite a surge in inflation. In a split vote, the bank's monetary policy committee, Copom, kept its benchmark Selic rate at 14.25% for the fifth straight time.
Recession-hit Brazil's central bank in a divided vote left the key interest rate untouched on Wednesday despite rising inflation, opting against an increase that could put a further brake on the world's seventh-biggest economy.
Brazil's central bank chief, Alexandre Tombini, told lawmakers he opposes using the country's $370 billion foreign reserves at this moment as they serve as an insurance policy for Latin America's largest economy.
Brazil's central bank kept interest rates on hold on Wednesday, for a second straight month despite a jump in inflation expectations. The decision not to raise rates will give a breather to President Dilma Rousseff, who is fighting for her political survival amid the country's worst economic and political crisis in 25 years.
Brazil President Dilma Rousseff cited the nation's foreign currency reserves as a backstop to excessive volatility and weakness in the Brazilian Real.
Brazil's depressed currency rebounded Thursday after the head of its central bank vowed to use all instruments in its arsenal to curtail the Real's collapse. Earlier in the day the Real tumbled to an all-time low of 4.248 to the U.S. dollar, but bounced back to 4.023 after central bank President Alexandre Tombini, in an unscheduled press briefing, did not rule out selling part of the country's $371 billion foreign reserves to calm the exchange rate market.