April 3, 2008 / 12:12 PM / 11 years ago

Brazil Sao Paulo inflation jumps 0.31 pct in March

SAO PAULO, April 3 (Reuters) - Consumer prices in Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, rose 0.31 percent in March, accelerating from 0.19 percent in February, as housing, personal expenditures and food became more costly, the Fipe research institute said on Thursday.

The result was slightly higher than the median forecast of 0.30 percent in a Reuters survey of 23 economists.

Housing continued to put pressure on the index, rising 0.44 percent in the month after climbing 0.35 percent in February.

Food prices, which had fallen 0.15 percent in February, returned to being one of the main items pressuring the inflation rate, rising 0.27 percent in March. Personal care items also put pressure on March inflation.

The Fipe index is closely watched by economists for trends in Brazil’s benchmark IPCA inflation index, which is used by the central bank to set interest rates.

Below is the result for each price category:

March February

- Housing +0.44 pct +0.35 pct

- Food +0.27 pct -0.15 pct

- Transportation +0.24 pct +0.37 pct

- Personal care +0.30 pct 0.00 pct

- Health +0.34 pct +0.57 pct

- Clothing +0.08 pct +0.06 pct

- Education +0.12 pct +0.17 pct

Reporting by Vanessa Stelzer and Reese Ewing, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama,

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