Brazil hikes key interest rate for 10th straight time
Updated 07:26, 06-May-2022
Two hundred and one hundred reais notes are displayed, May 26, 2021. /CFP

Two hundred and one hundred reais notes are displayed, May 26, 2021. /CFP

Brazil's central bank raised its key interest rate for the 10th straight time Wednesday, trying to tame surging inflation that has proved tough to slow for policy makers in Latin America's biggest economy.

Saying inflation "continued surprising negatively," the bank's monetary policy committee raised the benchmark Selic rate one percentage point, to 12.75 percent, in line with analysts' forecasts.

Conditions in the global economy have "continued to deteriorate," the bank said in its accompanying statement.

Monetary tightening by the world's wealthiest countries is "increasing uncertainty and creating additional volatility, particularly for emerging countries," it said.

The move came the same day the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by a half percentage point, its biggest hike since 2000, and indicated more tightening was on the way, also trying to slow soaring inflation.

In Brazil, the unanimous decision by the committee's nine members brought the Selic to its highest since February 2017, when it stood at 13 percent.

The bank said it expected another rate hike "of smaller magnitude" at its next meeting, from June 14 to 15.

Brazil's annual inflation rate stands at 11.3 percent, far above the central bank's target of 3.5 percent.

The mid-month inflation indicator for last month suggests the problem is getting worse: it came in at a 27-year high for April.

Analysts polled by the bank currently forecast the economy will grow a lackluster 0.7 percent this year.

(With input from AFP)

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