* C.Bank head says is committed to tackling high inflation
* Sees consumer price inflation down to 4.5 pct by year-end
* Says Brazil has not abandoned econ policy cornerstones
* Central bank had no immediate comment on press reports
SAO PAULO, Jan 24 Brazil's central bank is
committed to bringing down inflation, its president was quoted
as saying on Thursday as he defended the government against
criticism it had abandoned cornerstones of its economic policy.
Policymakers were not ruling out the use of traditional
monetary tools to contain rising consumer prices, Alexandre
Tombini was quoted by several newspapers as saying.
"The central bank remains vigilant and will do what it has
to do to handle monetary policy in Brazil. We will control
inflation, as has been the case over the past nine years," Valor
Economico quoted Tombini as telling an audience at the World
Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
He reiterated the central bank is committed to bringing
inflation down to 4.5 percent this year. In the 12 months to
mid-January, it accelerated to 6.02 percent from 5.78 percent
one month before - putting it near the top of the bank's target
range of 4.5 percent plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Calls to the central bank's media office in Brasilia to
confirm Tombini's comments were not returned.
Tombini defended the administration of President Dilma
Rousseff from criticism that the government has abandoned the
"macroeconomic tripod" that helped usher in stability and growth
during the past decade, O Estado de S. Paulo reported.
The tripod is a combination of policies aiming at preserving
the nation's floating foreign exchange regime, budget discipline
and low inflation.
Confidence in Latin America's largest economy has taken a
hit in recent months and many investors ran for the exits after
Rousseff put pressure on banks, mobile carriers and power
utilities to cut prices, the government used accounting gimmicks
to meet its annual budget targets and inflation fell down its
list of priorities.
Investors said the government campaign, while
well-intentioned, has stirred doubts about Rousseff's
willingness to respect contracts and ensure the economy grows in
a sustainable way.
Tombini also defended Rousseff's decision to protect certain
industries deemed as strategic from the impact of a weaker
dollar globally, Valor reported.