Ecuador's 2012 inflation rate was 4.16 pct

QUITO Sat Jan 5, 2013 10:37am EST

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QUITO Jan 5 (Reuters) - Ecuador's consumer prices rose 4.16 percent last year, the government of the South American OPEC nation said on Saturday, below its forecast of 5.14 percent.

That was lower than the 5.41 percent recorded in 2011, but above the 3.33 percent seen in 2010. The success at keeping price increases in check was a big part of the country's robust economic performance last year.

Ecuador's economy is likely to have expanded by about 5 percent in 2012, President Rafael Correa said last month. The growth has been supported by high oil revenues that let him boost state spending on infrastructure and welfare programs.

The socialist leader has said the inflation rate in 2013 should also be below 5 percent. In December 2012 consumer prices dipped 0.19 percent, the INEC statistics agency said, compared with a 0.40 percent rise during December 2011.

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