· Mar12 IPCA: +0.21%m/m (Consensus: +0.37%m/m; Santander: +0.38%m/m, 12 months accumulated: 5.24%)
· First thoughts: Comparing with the Mar/11 IPCA (0.79%m/m), the main contributions for inflation deceleration were communication and apparel deflation and low inflation in transport, mainly due to the urban transport inflation (0.4% m/m vs 2.4% m/m posted in Mar/11) and fuel prices inflation (0.4% m/m vs 2.7% m/m). Other items also contributed for the inflation deceleration, such as foodstuff (0.25% m/m vs 0.75% m/m), personal services (0.55% m/m vs 0.78% m/m) and education inflation (0.54% m/m vs 1.04% m/m). Comparing with our forecast for IPCA Mar/12, surprises were deflation in apparel prices, which is out of the seasonal pattern for this period, and well behaved foodstuff inflation, which is also not in line with the pattern seasonal (only in line with foodstuff inflation registered in 2009, when the commodities prices had a collapse).
· Bottom line: Despite the ethanol inflation (1.88% m/m) in March, we are still expecting low inflation in ethanol prices, maybe deflation, for this year, mainly because our assumption of better weather conditions from April12 on. We believe that other transport items, mainly the urban transport inflation will continue being much lower than the last year. About foodstuff prices, they should post some inflation acceleration in April, however, from May on the foodstuff prices should register inflation close to zero or deflation thanks to the seasonal pattern. We expect that regulated ( in 12 months accumulated is 4.21% vs 5.58% registered in Dec/11) and tradable prices (in particular, durable goods prices) continue helping to curb the IPCA headline, which summed to a well behaved foodstuff inflation should promote further inflation convergence up to 3Q12.