Costa Rica says inflation ends 2012 at 4.55 pct

MEXICO CITY Thu Jan 3, 2013 1:10pm EST

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MEXICO CITY Jan 3 (Reuters) - Costa Rican inflation hit 4.55 percent at the end of 2012, the National Census and Statistics Institute (INEC) reported on Thursday, slowing its pace from the previous year.

The figure is in line with the central bank's target range of 4.0 percent to 6.0 percent and is below the 2011 figure of 4.74 percent.

Consumer prices increased by 0.28 percent in December.

The economy of Costa Rica, a tiny Central American country famous for its beaches and tourism, is seen growing 4.8 percent in 2012, higher than originally expected on the back of a strong manufacturing sector.

The central bank has said it sees inflation at about 5 percent through 2013.

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