TABLE-Economists raise Brazil's 2014 inflation view to 6.28 pct

Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:46am EDT

BRASILIA, March 24 (Reuters) - Brazil's inflation will end
2014 very near the ceiling of the government's target range,
according to a weekly central bank survey of about 100
economists released on Monday.
    Brazil's inflation as measured by the IPCA benchmark
consumer price index will end 2014 at 6.28 percent,
up from an estimate of 6.11 percent in the prior week's survey,
according to the median forecast in the survey. 
    Brazil's central bank targets inflation at 4.5 percent, with
a tolerance margin of 2 percentage points. 
    The bank has been raising interest rates for nearly a year
to curb consumer price rises, but a recent jump in food costs
caused by a drought in southern Brazil will probably prevent
inflation from dropping over the coming months, economists say.
    Economists also raised their estimates for Brazil's Selic
benchmark lending rate at end-2014 to 11.25
percent, up from 11.00 percent in the prior week.
 (pct)               2014                  2015
                     previous   new        previous   new
                     forecast   forecast   forecast   forecast
 Consumer inflation  6.11       6.28       5.70       5.80
 Exchange rate       2.49       2.49       2.54       2.55
 (reais per U.S                                       
 Interest rate       11.00      11.25      12.00      12.00
 GDP growth          1.70       1.70       2.00       2.00
 Industrial output   1.44       1.41       3.00       3.00
 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)