May 16, 2019 / 2:05 PM / 2 months ago

Brazil economy likely shrank in first quarter, says central bank chief

Brazil's Central Bank President Roberto Campos Neto, Chief of Staff Minister Onyx Lorenzoni, Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's Vice President Hamilton Mourao and Brazil's Economy Minister Paulo Guedes attend a ceremony at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s economic slowdown of late last year spilled over into this year, so much so that there’s a “relevant probability” that the economy contracted slightly in the first quarter, central bank President Roberto Campos Neto said on Thursday.

Repeating almost verbatim language used in the minutes of the bank’s last policy meeting, Campos Neto said in testimony to lawmakers that inflation risks remain balanced but warned that high levels of slack in the economy could lead to a lower path for inflation than anticipated.

Reporting by Mrcela Ayres; Writing by Jamie McGeever

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