Brazil’s economic activity index rose at its fastest pace in nine months in January, the central bank said in a report posted on its website.
Economic activity, a proxy for gross domestic product, rose 0.71 percent in January from the previous month, according to the central bank’s seasonally adjusted index. That compares with a revised increase of 0.11 percent in December and is the quickest pace since April 2010.
Economic activity rose 5.14 percent from a year ago, according to the non-seasonally adjusted series, from 3.71 percent in December.
Traders are wagering that the central bank will increase borrowing costs by 0.5 percentage point for a third straight meeting at its April policy meeting, according to Bloomberg estimates based on interest rate futures show.
The yield on the interest rate futures contract maturing in January 2012 rose one basis point, or 0.01 percentage point, to 12.32 percent at 11:50 a.m. New York time.
The central bank raised interest rates twice this year in a bid to slow demand that is fueling inflation running at a 26- month high. Domestic demand is fueling a “new growth cycle” for the Brazilian economy after the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, central bank President Alexandre Tombini said March 3.
Annual inflation quickened to 6.01 percent in February, the fastest pace since November 2008. The central bank targets inflation of 4.5 percent, plus or minus two percentage points.
January retail sales beat estimates and rose at their fastest pace in five months, fueled by supermarket sales and purchases of household goods. Sales rose 1.2 percent in January from December, up from a revised 0.2 percent the previous month.
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