Lessons from the 20 Years of the Brazilian Inflation Targeting Regime
This paper analyzes the Brazilian experience with the Inflation Targeting Regime (ITR) since its adoption in June 1999. The theoretical analysis starts by covering the New Consensus Macroeconomics (NCM) only policy, in which the ITR is the monetary policy recommendation. This discussion is then complemented first by the current debate in the international mainstream on the need for a flexible ITR that considers the effects of monetary policy on the economy and second by the heterodox discussion on the need to completely abandon the ITR. The discussion on the Brazilian experience and its comparison with international experiences show that Brazil is one of the few countries where the monetary policy objective is restricted to price control and where the horizon for returning inflation to the target is only one year. Within this institutional framework, the Brazilian economy under the ITR is marked by the maintenance of extremely high real and nominal interest rates and with difficulties in meeting the inflation targets. The price control obtained also did not generate the expected externalities in terms of economic growth and employment. After almost 20 years of adopting the ITR in Brazil, it has generated exaggerated contractionary pressures on the Brazilian economy, indicating the need for a thorough examination of monetary institutions in Brazil in order to resume economic growth with price stability and social equity.
Key words: Inflation targeting, Brazilian experience, Contractionary effects, Price stability, Social equity.
JEL: E06, E12, E42.