Brazil’s Inflation Slows in October

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By LatAm Reports Editor

In Brazil, the rate of inflation experienced a slowdown in October, primarily due to reduced gasoline and ethanol prices, which eased the rise in transportation costs. The Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) reported on Friday that consumer prices increased by 0.24% compared to September, marking a slight deceleration from the 0.26% increase observed in September. Year-over-year, prices in October rose by 4.82%, compared to a 5.19% increase in the same period last year.

Transportation costs, which saw a modest 0.35% increase from September, exhibited a notable slowdown from the 1.4% hike in the previous month. This deceleration is attributed to a 1.53% decrease in gasoline prices and a 0.96% fall in ethanol prices. However, airline ticket prices surged by 23.7% in the same month.

The food sector also witnessed a shift, with prices rising for the first time in five months. October saw a 0.31% increase in food prices, a reversal from the 0.71% decline recorded in the previous month.

Looking ahead, economists anticipate that Brazil’s 12-month inflation rate will decrease to 4.63% by December, as per the Central Bank of Brazil’s weekly survey. This projection suggests that the headline inflation rate will align with the central bank’s target range of 1.75% to 4.75% for 2023, achieving this benchmark for the first time in three years.

In response to the favorable inflation outlook, the Central Bank of Brazil recently reduced its benchmark Selic lending rate by half a percentage point, bringing it down to 12.25%. The bank indicated that this positive trend in inflation could allow for continued rate cuts at the same pace in upcoming policy meetings.