There is Room for Rate Cuts in Brazil, Says Haddad

Brazil's Finance Minister Fernando Haddad emphasized on Wednesday that there is room for interest rate cuts in the country, contrasting the central bank chief's acknowledgment of ongoing challenges in achieving disinflation, Reuters reported. "My understanding that there is room for a cut cycle is no offense," he said during a hearing at the Lower House, adding that he is not questioning the central bank's power to set rates. Haddad stated there are conditions for monetary easing "without any setbacks concerning inflation." President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his political allies have repeatedly blasted the current interest rate level, which has remained steady at a 13.75% cycle-high since September despite declining inflation. Earlier on Wednesday, central bank governor Roberto Campos Neto said Brazil Brazil faces challenges in consolidating disinflation despite progress made so far, again highlighting concerns with rising inflation expectations. Haddad also said during the hearing that the economy is expected to grow about 2% this year. He regarded this rate as still low, emphasizing the need for the country to aspire to more robust growth in line with its potential. Read more.