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Growth among the emerging economic powers of Brazil, Russia, India and China is slowing fast, dashing hopes that they will become much-needed drivers of the world’s fragile recovery.

Brazil on Wednesday slashed its benchmark lending rate by 0.75 percentage points to 9 per cent – marking the sixth cut in the past eight months – in an effort to strengthen an economy that is seeing its growth decelerate at an alarming pace. The country grew 2.7 per cent last year, compared with 7.5 per cent in 2010.

The Reserve Bank of India cut its rate a day earlier, as policy makers struggle...

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