UPDATE 1-Brazil's Tombini sees inflation easing in April

martes 24 de marzo de 2015 11:35 GYT
 

(Adds comments by central bank chief, details on swaps program)

BRASILIA, March 24 (Reuters) - Inflation in Brazil should slow in April compared with the previous three months, but monetary policy will remain vigilant to contain price adjustments, central bank chief Alexandre Tombini said on Tuesday.

Tombini reiterated that a series of factors indicates that bringing 12-month inflation to the 4.5 percent center of the official target in 2016 is an achievable goal.

"Monetary policy is and will remain vigilant to make sure that the effects of the price adjustments are confined to the short term and for inflation to converge to the center of the target in 2016," he told lawmakers on the Senate's economic affairs committee.

Consumer prices as measured by the IPCA-15 index rose 7.90 percent in the 12 months to mid-March, the highest level in 10 years and well above the target range of between 2.5 and 6.5 percent.

Tombini said an increase in government-controlled prices such as fuel and electricity and a weaker local currency have caused a spike in inflation that should ease as the year progresses.

He said the bank's daily currency intervention program is important for the economy's stability as the United States is set to raise interest rates.

The program of currency swaps has been achieving its goal and what has been sold so far "substantially" meets local demand for currency protection, Tombini said.

He said the bank has the capacity to roll over all the swap contracts due in the short and medium term.

The program provides investors with a daily supply of currency swaps, derivatives that offer protection against currency losses.

The real was largely stable on Tuesday morning, trading at 3.1434 per dollar. (Reporting by Alonso Soto; editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis)