Weaker Real Seen Even as Brazil Pursues $60 Billion Rescue Plan

Economists covering the Brazilian economy forecast the real will weaken more than predicted last week, even after the central bank disclosed a $60 billion plan to temper the currency’s rout.

The real will weaken to 2.38 per U.S. dollar by the end of 2014 from 2.32 this December, compared with the previous week’s forecast of 2.35 and 2.30, respectively, according to a central bank survey with about 100 analysts published today. Analysts also raised their 12-month inflation forecast to 6.08 percent, from 5.97 percent the prior week.

President Dilma Rousseff’s administration has stepped up efforts to control a weakening real, which threatens to further stoke inflation that’s near the upper end of the government’s target. Central bankers will raise the benchmark interest rate to 9 percent this week from 8.50 percent in a bid to rein consumer price increases that are eroding growth, the survey shows.

The central bank last week announced a $60 billion intervention program involving currency swaps and loans after the real dropped the most among major currencies in the prior month.

The real weakened 0.66 percent to 2.3644 per U.S. dollar at 9:11 a.m. local time. Swap rates on the contract due in January 2015, the most traded in Sao Paulo today, rose 4 basis points, or 0.04 percentage point, to 10.28 percent.

Price Increases

Consumer prices as measured by the IPCA-15 index climbed 0.16 percent in the month through mid-August from 0.07 percent in mid-July, the national statistics agency reported last week. Annual inflation slowed to 6.15 percent after surpassing the 6.5 upper limit of the bank’s target range twice earlier in the year.

Economists in the bank survey raised their 2013 year-end inflation forecast to 5.80 from 5.74, while boosting their 2014 expectation to 5.84 from 5.80.

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