December 2, 2019 / 2:42 PM / 12 days ago

Brazil's Bolsonaro says interest rates should fall to 4.50% soon

BRASILIA, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday that the nation’s benchmark interest rate should fall half a percentage point to 4.50% soon, adding that that would happen without political interference.

The rate, known as the Selic, was reduced to an all-time low of 5.00% at the central bank’s last policy meeting in October.

Bolsonaro said earlier in November that interest rates could fall to 4.5% in December. The central bank’s next rate-setting meeting is next week.

“It’s at 5% today without any interference, and it should get to 4.5%. I hope so, right?” Bolsonaro said at an event organized by state bank Caixa Economica Federal.

“We had the courage to send a bill on central bank independence to Congress, so as not to have any political interference, as has always been the case.” (Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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