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Brazil central bank refrains from signaling next monetary policy move

Banco Central do Brasil once again avoided giving guidance on its future monetary policy decisions, despite "comfortable" inflation prospects.

During its most recent monetary policy meeting, the central bank kept its Selic rate at 6.50%, noting that the upward pressure on inflation brought about by a nationwide truckers' strike in May has subsided and is temporary.

"However, the higher level of uncertainty of the current situation generates a need for greater flexibility in the conduct of monetary policy," the central bank said in the minutes for its most recent monetary policy meeting.

The central bank cited weaknesses in the domestic front, including low industrial capacity utilization indexes and a high unemployment rate, as well global risks, such as the normalization of rates in advanced countries and uncertainty over international trade.

The monetary authority also noted that concern regarding the continuation of reforms and necessary adjustments in the Brazilian economy could increase inflation risks.

The central bank's monetary policy committee projects inflation of around 4.2% for 2018, given a scenario where the policy interest rate ends at 6.50% annually.