Goldfajn Says Brazilian Rate Cuts Risky Amid High Inflation

 

bcBrazil’s central bank kept the benchmark interest rate unchanged for the eighth straight meeting Wednesday, saying stubborn inflation leaves no room for monetary easing.

The central bank board, led for the first time by its new chief, Ilan Goldfajn, held the so-called Selic rate at an almost 10-year high of 14.25 percent. All 38 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg forecast the decision.

In a longer and more detailed statement than previous communiques, the board said food prices could fan inflation that’s already almost double the official target. While acknowledging that Brazil’s economic slowdown could help damp prices, policy makers said the balance of risks leaves “no room” to cut interest rates for now. Economists including Andre Perfeito said the central bank’s tone indicates monetary easing could come later than previously expected.

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