UPDATE 1-Brazil annual inflation rate tops 10 pct in mid-November
(Adds data, market reaction) By Silvio Cascione BRASILIA, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Brazil's annual inflation rate climbed past 10 percent in mid-November, hitting a 12-year high, despite the central bank's bid to curb price rises by raising interest rates to double-digit levels. Brazil's IPCA-15 consumer price index rose to 10.28 percent in the 12 months through mid-November, up from 9.77 percent in mid-October and in line with forecasts. Consumer prices rose 0.85 percent from mid-October, up from an increase of 0.66 percent in the previous month. It is the first time since November 2003 that Brazil's inflation surpasses 10 percent, a milestone that could add to pressure on President Dilma Rousseff as the economy sinks into recession and unemployment rises to the highest in more than six years. Brazilians are particularly wary of price rises after several bouts of hyperinflation in the past century. Although the current spike in inflation remains milder than previous bouts, it has been accompanied by the worst recession in decades, with an expected economic contraction of more than 3 percent this year and hundreds of thousands of lost jobs. Fuel prices led inflation higher in mid-November after cash-strapped state oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA raised gasoline and diesel prices to help service its massive debt. The increase followed a sharp decline in Brazil's currency this year, which analysts say is likely to lift prices of imports even as the economy plunges deeper into recession. Food prices and telephone rates also picked up steam in mid-November, government statistics agency IBGE said on Thursday. Inflation is set to end this year at 10.04 percent, according to a weekly central bank survey on Monday, falling next year to 6.5 percent. The central bank has held interest rates at 14.25 percent, a nine-year high, and is not expected to cut rates until late 2016. Yields on interest rate futures dropped slightly on Thursday <0#2DIJ:> despite the inflation spike, tracking global markets after the Federal Reserve pointed to a mild rate increase cycle. Below is the result for each price category: mid-November mid-October - Food and beverages 1.05 0.62 - Housing 0.74 1.15 - Household articles 0.07 0.12 - Apparel 0.72 0.58 - Transport 1.45 0.80 - Health and personal care 0.66 0.55 - Personal expenses 0.37 0.56 - Education 0.03 0.17 - Communication 1.04 0.08 - IPCA-15 0.85 0.66 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Angus MacSwan and W Simon)
© Thomson Reuters 2016 All rights reserved.