UPDATE 1-Brazil inflation returns to government target range in mid-November
(Adds breakdown of price rises, target range context) BRASILIA, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Brazil's annual inflation rate eased more than expected in mid-November, falling back within the official target range despite a recent increase in fuel prices. Consumer prices rose 6.42 percent in the 12 months through mid-November, statistics agency IBGE said on Wednesday. Market consensus in a Reuters poll was for an increase of 6.54 percent. The top end of the government's target range is 6.5 percent. When compared to mid-October, prices rose 0.38 percent , down from 0.48 percent in the previous month, according to the IPCA-15 price index. A sharp drop in airfares and interstate bus fares offset a government-sponsored increase in fuel prices by Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which economists expected would keep inflation above the target. Transportation prices rose 0.20 percent in mid-November, easing from 0.25 percent in mid-October. Food prices also reduced their pace of increase in the month to mid-November, helping slow inflation, despite another steep increase in beef prices due to increasing demand from Russia and China. Brazil's inflation rate had been climbing this year partly because of a sharp increase in government spending. The central bank, at risk of seeing inflation breach its year-end target range for the first time in a decade, is expected to raise interest rates through this year and next from the current 11.25 percent, which could extend the current economic recession. Central bank director Carlos Hamilton Araujo on Tuesday said inflation is "elevated" and could prompt policymakers to "recalibrate" monetary policy in coming months. Below is the result for each price category: November October November - Food and beverages 0.69 0.56 - Housing 0.80 0.56 - Household articles 0.13 0.31 - Apparel 0.70 0.42 - Transport 0.25 0.20 - Health and personal care 0.37 0.36 - Personal expenses 0.40 0.37 - Education 0.08 0.18 - Communication 0.00 -0.21 - IPCA-15 0.48 0.38 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione Editing by W Simon)
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