Brazil December Inflation Rate at 7-Month Low of 3.75%
The annual inflation rate in Brazil dropped to 3.75 percent in December of 2018 from 4.05 percent in November, slightly above market expectations of 3.70 percent. It is the lowest inflation rate since May, as prices slowed mostly for food and fuels. The inflation rate finished 2018 within the central bank target of 4.5 percent plus or minus 1.5 percentage points and above 2.95 percent in 2017.
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Year-on-year, inflation eased primarily for food and non-alcoholic beverages (4.04 percent vs 4.14 percent in November) and transport (4.19 percent vs 6.03 percent), owing to fuels (6.17 percent vs 13.69 percent). Also, cost rose less for health (3.95 percent vs 4.04 percent) and personal expenses (2.98 percent vs 3.11 percent) while declined for communications (-0.09 percent vs -0.20 percent). In contrast, prices continued to advance for housing (4.72 percent vs 4.46 percent), namely electricity (8.70 percent vs 7.46 percent) and rents (3.38 percent vs 3.32 percent); household goods (3.74 percent vs 3.18 percent); education (5.32 percent vs 5.26 percent) and clothing & footwear (0.61 percent vs 0.31 percent).
On a monthly basis, consumer prices went up 0.15 percent, after decreasing 0.21 percent in November and slightly above market expectations of a 0.13 percent gain. Main upward pressure came from prices of food (0.44 percent vs 0.39 percent); health (0.32 percent vs -0.71 percent), clothing & footwear (1.14 percent vs -0.43 percent) and household goods (0.57 percent vs 0.48 percent). At the same time, cost fell less for transport (-0.54 percent vs -0.74 percent) and housing (-0.15 percent vs -0.71 percent).