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Brazilian inflation slows in February, suggesting interest rate cut

Official figures indicate that the annual rate of consumer price inflation in Brazil fell to 2.84 percent last month, slowing for the second month in a row, Reuters reports.

The news agency says consumer prices were 0.32 percent higher last month than in January.

The report quotes an economist for securities broker Goldman Sachs, Alberto Ramos, as saying the slowing of inflation has “increased significantly the probability of a 25 basis-point rate cut” when the Brazilian central bank meets on March 21 to set the benchmark interest rate.

The central bank has reduced the main interest rate by a cumulative 750 basis points since October 2016, to help the Brazilian economy climb out of its deepest recession for decades. The benchmark rate is now 6.75 percent, the lowest in history, Reuters says.