UPDATE 1-Brazil central bank seen raising rates to 8 pct this year
* Economists cut 12-month inflation view to 5.51 pct * 2014 growth view trimmed to 3.5 pct By Silvio Cascione SAO PAULO, March 11 (Reuters) - Brazil's central bank will probably raise its benchmark interest rate this year to fight inflation as the economy recovers, a weekly central bank poll showed on Monday. The Selic rate should end the year at 8.00 percent, up from a record low of 7.25 percent, according to the median forecast of about 100 economists surveyed last week. They maintained their forecasts for end-2014 rate at 8.25 percent. A Reuters poll on Thursday showed a slight majority of economists expected an increase this year after the central bank stopped forecasting stable rates for a long period. The bank led by Alexandre Tombini, which cut the Selic rate ten consecutive times between August 2011 and October 2012 to boost Brazil's economy, has sought to calm inflation fears after a surprise jump in consumer prices in the past few months. The view of a rate increase this year already helped curb inflation expectations, according to the poll. The outlook for the benchmark IPCA price index in the next 12 months dropped to a rise of 5.51 percent, from 5.62 percent in the prior week. Inflation should end 2013 with an annual increase of 5.82 percent, the poll showed, up from 5.70 percent in the prior week's survey. Government data on Friday showed a surprise rise in consumer prices in February despite a government-sponsored cut in electricity rates. The central bank targets inflation at 4.5 percent, with a tolerance margin of plus or minus 2 percentage points. Economists also trimmed their forecasts for growth of Latin America's largest economy in 2014 to 3.50 percent, from 3.65 percent in the previous poll. They raised their median estimate for 2013 GDP growth to 3.10 percent, from 3.09 percent. Brazil, the world's seventh-largest economy, grew only 0.9 percent last year. In March, consumer prices are expected to rise 0.45 percent, up from a previous forecast of 0.43 percent. (pct) 2013 2014 previous new previous new forecast forecast forecast forecast Consumer inflation 5.70 5.82 5.50 5.50 Exchange rate 2.00 2.00 2.05 2.06 Interest rate 7.25 8.00 8.25 8.25 GDP growth 3.09 3.10 3.65 3.50 Industrial output 2.86 3.00 3.75 3.75
DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.