Brazil's Inflation Continues to Slow in May

Brazilian inflation continued to slow in the 12 months through the end of May, leaving the door open for more interest-rate cuts by the country's central bank.

Consumer prices rose 0.31% during the month and increased 3.6% from a year earlier, the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, or IBGE, said Friday. In April, prices rose 4.8% from a year earlier.

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Transport and food and drink prices fell the most in the month, with declines of 0.42% and 0.35%, respectively, the agency said. The biggest increase was in the cost of housing, which rose 2.14%, mostly because of the higher price for electricity, according to the IBGE.

The central bank's target for 12-month inflation is 4.5%, with a tolerance range of 1.5 percentage points in either direction. The bank raised its benchmark lending rate to 14.25% in 2015 and left it there for more than a year as price increases accelerated, reaching a pace of 10.7% in January 2016.

The central bank has cut the rate six times since the current easing cycle started last October.

Write to Jeffrey T. Lewis at jeffrey.lewis@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 09, 2017 08:35 ET (12:35 GMT)