UPDATE 1-Brazil's inflation shoots above target in mid-September
(Adds table, details on meat prices, background on elections) By Silvio Cascione BRASILIA, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Brazil's annual inflation rate surpassed the government's target range in mid-September as meat prices rose sharply, giving ammunition to opposition candidates in the run-up to the October presidential elections. Consumer prices rose 6.62 percent in the 12 months to mid-September, above the 6.5 percent ceiling of the central bank's target, statistics agency IBGE said on Friday. The IPCA-15 inflation index rose 0.39 percent in the month to mid-September, up from 0.14 percent in the previous month and above market expectations, IBGE added. Meat prices increased 2.3 percent as Russia's recent ban on many Western food products spared Brazil and raised prospects of stronger exports of beef, chicken and pork from the Latin American country. Airfares also drove inflation up, rising 17.6 percent from mid-August. Inflation has been a major campaign theme in Brazil's presidential election. Recent polls show opposition candidate Marina Silva running neck and neck with incumbent President Dilma Rousseff in a potential runoff, which would be triggered if no candidate wins a majority of votes on Oct. 5. Price increases have also hurt consumer and business confidence over the past few years, weighing on economic growth. Until inflation starts to ease, which could still take many months, the central bank is unlikely to stimulate growth by lowering interest rates, economists say. Below is the result for each price category: September August - Food and beverages 0.28 -0.32 - Housing 0.72 1.44 - Household articles 0.43 0.41 - Apparel 0.17 -0.18 - Transport 0.45 0.20 - Health and personal care 0.30 0.55 - Personal expenses 0.31 -0.67 - Education 0.20 0.42 - Communication 0.56 -0.84 - IPCA-15 0.39 0.14 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
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