Brazilian Inflation to Be Below 6%, But Above Government’s Target

    Brazil’s Broad Consumer Price Index (IPCA) is expected to end the year at around 5.5%, according to the majority of financial and market analysts surveyed every Friday by the Central Bank (BC).

    The results of the most recent survey, announced Monday, November 21, by the BC in its Focus Bulletin, suggest that inflation in 2005, as measured by the IPCA, will be 5.53%, up slightly from last week’s forecast of 5.52%.

    The analysts’ predictions continue to diverge from the government’s official target of 5.1% for consumer inflation. The near stability in the two most recent estimates, however, is less abrupt than the bounce from last month, when inflation estimates stood at 5.21% from the "market’s perspective."

    When the impact of price readjustments in petroleum derivatives was felt, the analysts’ forecasts, on the average, were revised upward.

    At the moment there are no signs of any price hikes in the short run. The BC survey projects a 0.40% increase in the IPCA this month and a 0.37% increase in December, contributing to a slight rise in the forecast for inflation over the next 12 months, from 4.64% to 4.65%. The inflation prediction for 2006, on the other hand, is down from 4.60% to 4.55%, according to the Focus Bulletin.

    There exists a slight upward pressure on contractually administered or monitored prices (fuels, electricity, telephone services, water, medicines, education, public transportation, and others). The prediction for the cumulative annual readjustment in these prices and services rose from 7.90% to 8%.

    Agência Brasil

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