December 7, 2016 / 12:35 PM / 9 months ago

Brazil's inflation seen easing to 7 percent in November

A man carries chairs to be rented to visitors at Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares/File Photo

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s annual inflation rate probably eased in November to the lowest level since late 2014, leaving the country’s central bank comfortable to soon accelerate the pace of interest rate cuts, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

Consumer prices as measured by the benchmark IPCA index BRCPIY=ECI likely rose 7.08 percent in the 12 months through November, down from an increase of 7.87 percent in October, according to the median of 26 estimates.

Although the inflation rate in November is expected to stay above the 6.5 percent upper end of the government’s target band, it will still be significantly lower than the double-digit rates seen in the first months of the year.

In 2017, inflation is expected to fall to around 4.5 percent, the midpoint of the government’s target. That scenario has prompted the central bank to consider accelerating the pace of a rate-cutting cycle started in October, offering relief for an economy mired in severe recession for two years.

“According to the (central bank policy committee) Copom, short-term inflation has also been more favorable than anticipated, with signs of broader disinflation,” UBS economists Guilherme Loureiro, Thiago Carlos and Rafael de la Fuente wrote in a note. “That, combined with the prospects of a more gradual economic recovery, suggests a faster inflation drop, including core and services inflation,” they added.

On a monthly basis, prices probably rose 0.27 percent in November, nearly unchanged from an increase of 0.26 percent in October, according to the median of 29 forecasts.

Statistics agency IBGE publishes the November inflation numbers on Friday at 9 a.m. local time (1100 GMT).

Estimates for the month-on-month inflation rate ranged between 0.20 and 0.35 percent, while forecasts for the annual inflation rate were between 7.01 and 7.17 percent.

Reporting by Silvio Cascione; editing by Diane Craft

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