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Brazil’s Broadest Inflation Index Rises Most in Three Months

Brazil’s wholesale price index rose in December at the fastest pace in three months, as food costs continue to boost inflation in the world’s second-biggest emerging market.

Brazil’s prices, as measured by the IGP-M index, rose 0.68 percent in December from the month before, the Getulio Vargas Foundation said on its website today. That compares with a median estimate of a 0.76 percent increase from 30 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, and is the biggest jump since a 0.97 percent rise in September.

Prices as measured by Brazil’s broadest inflation index rose 7.82 percent from the year before, lower than the median estimate of 7.89 percent from 19 economists. The IGP-M index is 60 percent weighted in wholesale prices.

Annual consumer inflation through mid-December accelerated to 5.78 percent, the fastest rate since mid-February. Brazil’s inflation remains “under control,” President Dilma Rousseff said in a nationally televised speech on Sunday. The central bank last week said in its quarterly report inflation will slow to 4.8 percent in 2013. It is still possible price increases will slow to the bank’s 4.5 percent target, the bank’s director for economic policy, Carlos Hamilton, told reporters in Brasilia on Dec. 20.

Food prices as measured by the IGP-M index jumped 1.29 percent in December, up from 0.08 percent the previous month. Raw materials prices rose 1.11 percent, compared with a 0.41 percent decrease in November.

Economists in the latest weekly central bank survey forecast consumer inflation of 5.69 percent this year and 5.47 percent in 2013.

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