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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The Central Bank of Brazil’s Monetary Policy Committee (COPOM) announced on Wednesday evening it was lowering its benchmark interest rate (Selic) by 0.75 percentage points. The Selic now stands at thirteen percent, the lowest level since April of 2015.

The unanimous decision by the COPOM surprised analysts, who were expecting between a 0.25 and 0.50 percentage point reduction. The decision comes a day after the 2017 budget, with the federal spending limit, is sanctioned.

“The set of indicators suggests lower than expected economic activity. The available . . .

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