May 21, 2014, 10:21:00 AM EDT
BRASILIA–Brazil’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Wednesday that consumer prices are in a declining trend and that interest rates are high.
The comments come one week ahead of a monetary-policy meeting at which the central bank is likely to keep borrowing prices unchanged for the first time in more than a year, economists say.
Speaking to reporters outside the finance ministry, Mr. Mantega said that recent price indexes show weakening.
Brazil’s mid-month consumer-price index, the IPCA-15, rose 0.58% compared with a 0.78% climb in the month through mid-April, the Brazilian Geographic and Statistics Institute, or IBGE, said Wednesday. The most recent 12-month reading for the IPCA, in April, was 6.3%
Brazil’s benchmark interest rate Selic was gradually increased since April 2013, to 11% from 7.25%. The central bank has a mandate to keep the IPCA at 4.5%, with a maximum tolerance of 6.5%.