BRAZIL Brazil’s economy’s benchmark interest rate hits a 30-year low

On December 11, 2019, the Brazilian Central Bank lowered the economy’s benchmark interest rate — for the fourth consecutive time. Its committee unanimously decided to reduce the Selic rate to 4.5% a year, a 0.5% percentage point cut. The move had been expected by analysts.

The benchmark interest rate is used in the negotiation of bonds in the country’s Special Clearance and Escrow (Selic) system and provides a gauge for other interest rates in the economy. It is also the central bank’s main tool to curb official inflation (Broad Consumer Price Index, i.e., IPCA).

The decision brings Selic to its lowest level since this time series was initiated by the Central Bank, in 1986.

In a statement, the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee, or Copom, said it will act cautiously and keep the rate at 4.5% a year for a long period, never failing to assess the economy’s conditions. The financial institution stressed the need to continue the structural reforms in the Brazilian economy so the rate may stay low for long.

The Selic’s historic low comes as unemployment is slowly coming down, economists are raising their growth forecasts for this year and 2020, and the outlook is for inflation to remain under control.

Many economists nevertheless expect the central bank will keep the Selic on hold at its next meeting, on February 5 (2020), while watching out for price pressures such as a recent surge in meat prices caused by higher demand in China, a major importer of Brazilian food commodities.

Original Story: Indrastra | News 
Photo: Banco Central do Brasil site
Edition: Prime Yield