Tuition Fees Lead Inflation in Brazil

    Brazilian Inflation in February, as gauged by the Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA), was 0.59%, almost identical to the rate in January, 0.58%. The IPCA was announced by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE).

    The biggest contribution to last month’s IPCA was made by the item “courses,” in the education group, as a result of the readjustment of monthly tuition fees.

    On the other hand, there was deceleration in several important items, such as fuel alcohol (-1.44%), gasoline (-0.79%), and cooking gas (-1.06%).

    Bus fares decreased 0.37% on the average, and clothing articles declined 0.22%, due to summer clearance sales.

    The highest inflation was registered in Brasí­lia (1.54%), and the lowest, in Curitiba (0.20%).

    With February’s result, the IPCA, used by the government to set its inflation targets, registered a 1.17% cumulative increase in the first two months of 2005, lower than the cumulative increase of 1.37% during the corresponding period last year.

    The index encompasses families with monthly incomes of between one and 40 minimum wages in nine metropolitan areas (Salvador, São Paulo, Recife, Porto Alegre, Belém, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Fortaleza, and Curitiba), as well as Brasí­lia and the municipality of Goiânia.



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