BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's inflation rate probably eased below 5 percent in mid-February for the first time since 2012, a Reuters poll showed, putting the central bank very close to its long-missed target and keeping the door wide open for interest rate cuts.
Consumer prices as measured by the IPCA-15 inflation index probably rose 4.99 percent in the 12 months through mid-February, down nearly 1 percentage point from mid-January, according to the median of 25 estimates.
Prices probably rose 0.50 percent from mid-January, up from an increase of 0.31 percent in the previous month, according to the median of 29 forecasts in the poll.
The numbers will be released on Wednesday at 9 a.m. (1200 GMT), the same day the central bank is expected to slash interest rates by another 75 basis points to a two-year low of 12.25 percent, according to a separate poll.
Falling inflation and interest rates are expected to help the economy pull through its two-year-long recession. That would bring relief for President Michel Temer, who is working to garner support for austerity measures in Congress.
- All of these celebrities have had their nudes leaked 35 Pictures
- Here's what it's like to fish for your dinner at Zauo NYC (photos) 21 Pictures
- PHOTOS: The best cosplay of NYCC 2018, Day 3 44 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Looking back at Heidi Klum's best Halloween costumes 19 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Nightmare Machine, the haunted house for millennials 14 Pictures
- American Music Awards 2018: Red carpet looks, list of winners 23 Pictures
- What you need to know about MTV's 'How Far Is Tattoo Far?' 9 Pictures
- Who is Alexander Edwards, Amber Rose's new boyfriend? 9 Pictures
- Are Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian getting back together? 8 Pictures
- Anne Frank's Diary now comes as a graphic novel 3 Pictures
- Reimagine End of Life celebrates all things death and dying 5 Pictures
The central bank's inflation target is 4.5 percent. With consumer prices slowing more rapidly than expected, most economists expect the government to reduce the goal for 2019, according to a Reuters poll last week.
(Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Leslie Adler)