Brazil’s Meirelles says will aim to cut inflation

* Meirelles seeks inflation at mid-point of target range

* Analysts foresee rate hike as early as this month

SAO PAULO, April 9 (BestGrowthStock) – Brazil’s central bank
president, Henrique Meirelles, said on Friday the bank aimed to
bring down inflation to the centre of the government’s target
this year and next.

Inflation expectations have risen rapidly in recent weeks
as the economy grows. Meirelles, speaking at an event in Sao
Paulo, reiterated the bank’s commitment to its
inflation-targeting regime.

“The objective of the central bank is to keep inflation in
2010 and 2011 at the center of the government target,”
Meirelles said, adding that next year he aimed for an inflation
rate slightly lower than this year.

“It is problematic to assume a little inflation risk,” he
added.

Meirelles joined other government officials this week that
have talked tough on rising price pressures as numbers showed
inflation had slowed in March from February but was still above
the government’s target on a 12-month basis.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday he
would do what he could to contain price pressures as data
showed 12-month inflation at 5.17 percent [ID:nN08155579].

The central bank has a target for this year of 4.5 percent,
plus or minus two percentage points.

Analysts widely expect the central bank to raise rates for
the first time in two years at its April 27-28 meeting, but
remain divided on whether it will be a 50 or 75 basis points
hike.

The central bank slashed lending rates to a record-low of
8.75 percent during the global financial crisis in a bid to
revive Latin America’s largest economy.

Investing Basics

(Reporting by Vivian Pereira and Jose de Castro; Writing by
Ana Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and
Diane Craft)

Brazil’s Meirelles says will aim to cut inflation