BRASILIA (AFP) – Inflation in Brazil hit 6.41 per cent in 2014, marginally below a government ceiling of 6.5 per cent but still the highest annual figure since 2011, the National Statistical Institute (IBGE) said Friday.
Prices rose in December by 0.78 per cent, above November’s 0.51 per cent, but below the 0.92 per cent rise of December 2013, IBGE revealed.
The official annual target is 4.5 per cent, with a tolerance margin of two per cent beyond that, but the central target has been missed several times in recent years. The 2013 annual figure was 5.91 per cent.
The IBGE said food, beverages, transport and housing costs fueled last year’s rise – with the cost of meat alone up 22.21 per cent compared to a year earlier.
Price rises slowed marginally in August, which saw an increase of 0.25 per cent. But September’s figure was 0.5 per cent, for an annualised rate of 6.7 per cent, sparking concern.
President Dilma Rousseff, who began a second term in office this month, has vowed to rein in spending, and Thursday unveiled budget cuts expected to total $8.4 billion a year, to dampen price pressures in the world’s seventh largest economy.
Analysts believe the central bank will also gradually hike interest rates, which are already high at 11.75 per cent.