LOS ANGELES -- Brazil's central bank unanimously decided to lift the benchmark interest rate to 11.25%, according to a notice on the bank's website late Wednesday. The rate hike from 10.75% met the expectations of analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires. The bank, in its accompanying statement, pointed to the possibility of further rate hikes. The decision came amid deteriorating inflation expectations. The central bank's weekly survey of analysts, released Monday, showed they expect the benchmark IPCA inflation rate to reach 5.42% by the end of 2011. Last week, the rate expectation stood at 5.34%. The bank's inflation target is 4.5%. Wednesday's decision by the central bank was its first with its new chief, Alexandre Tombini.
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