Brazil targets inflation of 8.5 percent in 2003

Brazil's central bank said on Tuesday it would steer monetary policy to target a year-end inflation rate of 8.5 percent, more than double its original goal but still below market forecasts for 2003.

The bank had originally targeted inflation of 4 percent, plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, for 2003. But a sharp depreciation of Brazil's currency, the real, last year has made it largely impossible for it to meet that target.

Markets currently expect inflation to end the year at 11.19 percent, a