Brazil Central Bank hikes interest rates, eyes quicker return to “neutral” policy

Wednesday’s decision to raise the benchmark Selic rate to 4.25% was exactly as officials had indicated and all 37 economists in a Reuters poll had predicted.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Brazil’s Central Bank delivered its third consecutive benchmark interest rate increase of 75 basis points on Wednesday and raised the specter of larger hikes ahead, as it returns to “neutral” rates, dropping plans for a “partial” normalization of policy.

With economic growth much stronger than many had expected and inflation forecast above the Central Bank’s mandated target range this year, policymakers signaled that rates are likely to be raised higher and perhaps more quickly than previously planned.

Wednesday’s decision to raise the benchmark Selic rate to 4.25% was exactly as bank officials . . .

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