October 8, 2017, 4:38 pm
Inflation in Brazil continued to slow in September, the government statistics office said Friday, with a year-on-year price gain of 2.54 percent. The consumer price index climbed 0.16 percent, down from August, when it rose 0.19 percent, according to the IGBE statistics office, as the country slowly exists from its worst recession on record.
In the first nine months of the year prices rose 1.78 percent, the lowest level in September since 1998 and well below the 5.51 percent of the same period last year. Markets expect 3.38 percent price increases for this year, meaning the government will easily beat its target of 4.5 percent inflation. That's a sharp contrast with the 10.67 percent inflation in 2015 and 6.2 percent at the end of 2016.
The trend has freed the bank to relax rates and try to spur Latin America's largest economy. Center-right President Michel Temer, who is battling a criminal charge of corruption, is pushing austerity cuts, looser labor laws and a big privatization program that he says will revive the economy after two years of recession. The Brazilian economy recorded modest expansion in the first two quarters of the year.