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Brazil inflation hits 13-year high

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Official figures show inflation in Brazil last year hit the highest level since 2002.

Official figures show that Brazil’s inflation hit the highest level in 13 years in 2015 over what many believe has been a result of economic mismanagement that has been worsened by a political crisis in Latin America's biggest economy.

The government announced on Friday that annual inflation reached 10.67 percent in 2015. The figure was the highest since 2002 and more than double the government's 4.5 percent target, AFP reported.

In recession since the second quarter of last year, Brazil is suffering from rising unemployment and a drop in investor confidence. Both have been fueled by a deteriorating political crisis involving President Dilma Rousseff who has been caught in a scandal related to the state oil firm Petrobras.

The country’s inflation has specifically gained steam in recent months in light of the proceedings for the impeachment of President Rousseff.

Food prices have also picked up amid sharp currency devaluation in the country as well as impacts of severe weather conditions in the south.

Brazilian Rousseff has promised to control public spending to quell inflation, which has weighed on business and consumer confidence.

Current inflation is much milder than in previous episodes, but it has been accompanied by the worst recession in decades. Analysts forecast an economic contraction of more than 3 percent this year and more than 1 million jobs lost.

The price spikes have fueled popular discontent against President Rousseff as Brazilians recall several bouts of hyperinflation in the past century. 

The IMF expects Brazil will stay in recession in 2016. The World Bank on Wednesday forecast a 2.5 percent contraction this year.

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