Health insurance pushes mid-month inflation up

health insurance inflation Brazil
Photo: Alison Nunes Calazans/Shutterstock

Brazil’s IPCA-15 consumer price index, the country’s mid-month inflation rate, was up by 0.69 percent in June. Consumer prices measured by the index — which is a reliable predictor of official inflation — was lower than a year ago, but above May results and market expectations for this month.

The result was skewed by the recent 15.5-percent hike to health insurance premiums, authorized by regulators. Overall, healthcare inflation reached 2.99 percent according to the mid-month inflation index.

On the other hand, electricity bills were down 0.68 percent. With hydropower reservoirs having recovered from 2021 droughts, the government lifted extra fees implemented to switch demand to thermal plants (which are more expensive to run).

Gasoline was also down by 0.27 percent, although Petrobras announced a new 5.2-percent price hike last week, which could impact measurements of consumer prices for the whole month.