Bloomberg — Brazil’s industrial output slid in February on a decline in chemical products and food, dragged down by expensive borrowing costs and weakening demand in the latest worrying sign for the economy.
Production fell 0.2% from the month prior, matching the median forecast from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. From a year ago, industry dropped 2.4%, the national statistics institute reported on Wednesday.
Industry in Brazil is suffering as the central bank holds the benchmark rate firm at 13.75% to fight inflation. The policy has infuriated President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is vying to spur growth and lift living standards in his third term.
Since taking office on Jan. 1, the leftist leader has berated policymakers for keeping the Selic rate at six-year high, which he says is hampering investment and the purchasing power of regular Brazilians. Analysts predict economic growth of only about 1% this year.
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