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  Brazil is about to join China and India in fighting inflation.

On March 17 the Brazilian central bank, Banco Central do Brazil, surprised pretty much every economist in the country by holding its benchmark interest rate steady.

 But that’s just raised their conviction that the bank will raise interest rates in April. On top of interest rate increases in India and higher reserve requirements in China, the move would make Brazil the third developing world powerhouse to start to slow its economy to fight inflation. (See my post )

 Economists predict that rising inflation will force the bank to act—and the longer it delays the higher the inflation rate is likely to get.

Analysts project inflation of 5.1% in 2010 and after the central bank failed to act raised their forecast for 2011 to 4.7%. That’s up from a consensus projection of 4.6% a week earlier in the central bank’s weekly survey.

 The forecast right now is for the benchmark interest rate to climb to 9.25% in April. That would be the first rate increase since September 2008. The benchmark rate is currently a record low 8.75%.

 For why the inflation fight in India, China, and Brazil is likely to make the U.S. stock market the best performer in the world over the next three months or so see my post )