BRASILIA: Inflation pressures in Brazil remained strong in March, figures showed on Tuesday, with producer prices rising at their fastest annual rate since comparable records began seven years ago and pointing to further central bank interest rate increases ahead.
The annual rate of factory gate inflation in Latin America’s largest economy rose to 33.5% from 28.5%, the highest level since statistics agency IBGE’s data series began in January 2014.
The accumulated rate of inflation in the first quarter of the year was also a record for the January-March period, rising to 14.1% from 8.9% in the three months to February, IBGE said. On a monthly basis, factory gate prices rose 4.8%, the second fastest rate after February’s 5.2%, as prices rose in 23 of the 24 activities surveyed for a third consecutive month.
Brazil’s central bank is widely expected to raise interest rates by 75 basis points on Wednesday, lifting the benchmark Selic rate up to 3.50% as it battles to bring consumer inflation back below target. It kicked off the tightening cycle with a 75-basis-point hike in March.