Brazil’s Inflation Hits Highest Since 2003 as Food Prices Soar

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Latin American central banks will likely extend their monetary tightening campaigns beyond what was originally expected after inflation surged past forecasts in April, with steep increases in food and fuel costs stinging policy makers, Bloomberg News reported. Brazil’s consumer prices rose 12.13% from a year prior according to data released Wednesday, the fastest pace in nearly two decades and also above the 12.06% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Headline inflation also topped forecasts in Peru, Colombia and Chile in the same month, as did the closely-watched core index in Mexico. Latin American policy makers are getting no respite from raging price increases that had already blown past even the most pessimistic forecasts in many countries in March. The region’s central banks were among the first in the world to start tightening last year in the wake of pandemic stimulus. They are now facing growing warnings -- and, in some cases, political pressure --- about damage to economic growth. Read more.