Brazil’s Haddad says monetary policy still ‘very restrictive’

By Thomson Reuters May 22, 2024 | 11:20 AM

(Reuters) – Brazil’s finance minister said on Wednesday that the country’s monetary policy is still at a “very restrictive” level despite what he considers good consumer price readings, with headline inflation running within the central bank’s target range.

Fernando Haddad’s remarks came as the central bank earlier this month voted to reduce the pace of its ongoing easing cycle, lowering Brazil’s benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 10.5% after six cuts twice that size.

Haddad at a lower house hearing said that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government had been doing its job to help keep inflation under control. He emphasized that fiscal and monetary policies must be in harmony.

Brazil’s annual inflation hit 3.69% in April, within the central bank’s target of 3% plus or minus 1.5 percentage points, but the monetary authority cited global and local uncertainties among the reasons to reduce the pace of its easing cycle.

(Reporting by Luana Maria Benedito)