Brazil: Central Bank leaves SELIC unchanged again despite high inflationary pressures
March 2, 2016
At its 2 March meeting, the Central Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (COPOM, Comite de Politica Monetaria) decided to leave the benchmark SELIC interest rate unchanged at 14.25%. The move marked the fifth meeting at which the Bank has held interest rates after seven consecutive rate hikes. The result was in line with market analysts’ expectations. The SELIC interest rate remains at a near-decade high amid high inflationary pressures and economic recession in Brazil.
In the brief accompanying statement—which mirrored the last meeting’s statement—the Central Bank outlined that the move is consistent with its assessment of the current balance of risks and uncertainties. However, similar to the last meeting, the decision to hold the SELIC interest rate stable was not unanimous. Six members of the committee voted to keep the SELIC interest rate unchanged, while two members voted to raise the rate by 50 basis points.
Moreover, the Bank’s decision comes against a worsening inflation outlook in Latin America’s largest economy. Despite the number of rate hikes and the economy being stuck in recession, inflationary pressures remain elevated and inflation ended 2015 at the highest level since 2002.