August 9, 2013
Tim Fernholz – Quartz, 08/09/2013
It’s a financial lesson in being careful what you wish for.
Brazil’s finance minister Guido Mantega declared the existence of a “currency war” in 2010, as wealthy countries used stimulus money to lower interest rates and escape the global recession, sending yield-seeking investors to emerging markets like Brazil. These capital flows pushed up the Brazilian rial, making the country’s export-driven economy less competitive.
The “currency war” story was always over-rated; global demand was ultimately more important, and emerging markets exporters found various ways to protect their currencies. In February, Mantega said his country had “neutralized” the currency war, stabilizing its currency at roughly 2 reals per dollar. With the US Federal Reserve signaling a willingness to slow the bond-buying program that offended Mantega so much, you might imagine he’s taking a small victory lap.
August 7, 2013
Joshua Goodman – Bloomberg, 08/07/2013
The first decline in food prices (BZPIIPCM) in two years provided temporary assistance to Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s efforts to tame inflation being pressured by the biggest currency slide among emerging markets.
Prices as measured by the benchmark IPCA index rose 0.03 percent in July, in line with analysts surveyed by Bloomberg whose median forecast was for prices to remain unchanged. Cheaper food costs, as well as declines for transportation and clothing, lowered 12-month inflation, which had exceeded the 6.5 percent upper limit of the government’s target range, to 6.27 percent.
Finance Minister Guido Mantega celebrated today’s reading, saying it shows that inflation remains under control in the world’s second-biggest emerging market. Banco Merill Lynch SA forecast monthly inflation will rebound as a rallying dollar puts pressure on companies to raise prices even as policy makers have embarked on the biggest cycle of interest rate increases in the Group of 20.
February 26, 2013
Paulo Trevisani & Paulo Winterstein – Fox Business, 02/26/2013
Brazil Finance Minister Guido Mantega said Tuesday that inflation control is a priority and so despite a slowdown in inflation the government won’t be complacent in monitoring prices.
“Inflation control is a priority . . . so we will never relax with inflation control,” Mr. Mantega said during a presentation to investors in New York.
“Inflation is slowing down but we will not be lax,” he said, citing the IPC consumer price index, which slowed yet again during the third week of February.