A protestor waving the Brazilian flag outside a Rio refinery in May 2018, where soldiers had been deployed to guarantee the safe transport of fuel for essential services

Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Brazilian annual inflation rose 4.48 percent through July, the government statistics office said Wednesday, slowing significantly after a spike caused by a truckers’ strike in May.

For the month of July, consumer prices rose 0.33 percent, compared to 1.26 percent in June as a result of the strike which saw goods disappear from shop shelves and gas stations run out of fuel.

A panel of analysts in the financial daily Valor had expected a 0.27 percent price rise for the month.

The IBGE statistics office said that a 0.12 percent drop in food prices, compared to a 2.03 percent hike in June, was the main driver of the overall shift.

The annual rate is now slightly higher than the 4.39 percent in June and close to the government’s target of 4.5 percent.

Market expectations are for inflation of 4.11 percent across 2018 and 4.10 percent in 2019.

On August 1, the Central Bank maintained its key Selic interest rate steady at 6.5 percent.

The Central Bank made 12 consecutive rate cuts ending in March, bringing the Selic to a historic low. Analysts now expect it to remain unchanged until the end of the year before rising to around eight percent next year.