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Concerns over inflation remain Brazilian government's policy
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Before the echoes of glee have fully extinguished in Brazil for the country's 5.4 percent economic growth in 2007, concerns over the mounting inflation have found no reasons for a retreat as the government said it would not change the consumer policy.

Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Manteg Monday said the government was not considering shortening the length of consumer and car loans as anti-inflation measures.

"We are not thinking of establishing limits to the length of financing," Mantega told reporters at a meeting in his office.

Nothing should change for the consumers as he saw no alarming inflationary threat from expanding domestic credit and consumer demand, said the minister.

The government, however, was in talks with banks and did not want to expand the local credit market too quickly, he said.

Earlier local media reports said Mantega was expected to meet leaders from the automobile industry in an attempt to convince the latter into lowering the amounts and shortening the terms of installments available for financing, but his Tuesday comments apparently overthrew such guesswork and gave no ease to the market concerns over an out-of-control inflation.

Also Monday, the release of a March 20 central bank survey showed that economists revised their forecast for the 12-month consumer prices index, an indicator for inflation, from the previous 4.29 percent to 4.33 percent.

Meanwhile, in the 12 months through February, the central bank's official inflation index rose to 4.61 percent from 4.56 percent in the year ending in January and above the government's annual target.

The concerns have all the reasons to stay strong as Brazil's economic growth in 2007, the fastest in three years, was attributed by economists more to loans than to income, which also has been the tendency in the first quarter of 2008.

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