Latin America’s Inflation Is Hitting a Turning Point, Fueling Rate Cut Calls

Latin America’s top central bankers are meeting in Brazil on Friday as pressure mounts on them to begin cutting interest rates in response to slowing inflation, Bloomberg News reported. Political leaders, investors and businesses across the region that led the world into an aggressive monetary tightening campaign after the Covid-19 pandemic are now anticipating — and in some cases demanding — imminent rate reductions. That is testing the resolve of central bankers who remain hesitant to declare victory even as they appear to have gained the upper hand on consumer price increases. “Central bankers are more cautious after such a long period of above-target inflation,” Cassiana Fernandez, a Latin America economist at JPMorgan & Chase Co, said ahead of the meeting. For policymakers like Brazil central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto, the Sao Paulo gathering is a chance to rally together to make the case to impatient politicians that their caution is justified. Campos Neto, who is hosting the event, has faced unrelenting criticism from President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva over his decision to hold Brazil’s key rate at a six-year high of 13.75%, even as annual inflation has fallen more than 8 percentage points from a year ago. Read more.