January 30, 2020 / 12:13 PM / 23 days ago

Brazil IGP-M inflation cools as beef price surge evaporates

BRASILIA, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Brazilian inflation, as measured by the IGP-M price index, eased to a monthly rate of 0.48% in January, the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) said on Thursday, as the surge in beef prices late last year evaporated.

That was below economists’ forecast of 0.54%, and marked a hefty retreat from December’s 2.09% inflation rate, the highest monthly increase in almost 17 years.

According to the FGV, beef price inflation in January collapsed to 1.95% from 18.03% the month before. There was also a notable decrease in finished goods and raw materials inflation, it added.

The central bank’s rate-setting committee “Copom” meets next week. Expectations of a 25 basis point cut in the benchmark Selic rate to a new low of 4.25% have increased since bank president Roberto Campos Neto said earlier this month that he is “comfortable” with the inflation outlook, noting that meat prices have come right back down again.

The central bank’s latest weekly survey of economists on Monday showed that the average 2020 forecast for the benchmark IPCA annual inflation rate declined for the fourth week in a row to a new low of 3.47%, further below the bank’s 4.00% goal. (Reporting by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Alison Williams)

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