Brazil cuts benchmark interest rate to record low of 6.5 pct

Source: Xinhua| 2018-03-22 13:50:16|Editor: Jiaxin
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RIO DE JANEIRO, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's central bank cut interest rates to a record low of 6.5 percent late Wednesday in a move to stimulate growth in Latin America's largest economy.

The cut of the benchmark Selic rate by 25 basis points from 6.75 percent is the 12th consecutive reduction by the central bank's monetary policy committee, known as Copom.

The Copom said in a statement it "understands that the economic situation prescribes a stimulative monetary policy, or in other words, interest rates below the structural level."

The Copom's decision met expectations of market analysts, who, however, did not foresee rate cuts below 6.5 percent, according to the bank's Focus market report.

The successive rate cuts came as Brazil's gross domestic production registered 1-percent growth in 2017, ending two years of contraction as the country limps toward recovery from the worst recession in history.

The stimulating monetary policy, which the Copom said will continue, is aimed at bringing the inflation rate to the 4.5 percent target set for this year. The Copom, in its latest assessment, expected the inflation rate to be at 3.8 percent this year, according to Wednesday's statement.