* Selic to end 2012 at 7.5 pct, survey sees
* 2012 Inflation view up to 5.35 pct
* Growth forecasts unchanged
By Silvio Cascione
SAO PAULO, Sept 24 Economists see Brazil's
central bank holding interest rates through end of the year as
they raised their 2012 inflation estimates, a closely watched
weekly central bank survey showed on Monday.
The median forecast for the central bank's benchmark Selic
rate edged up from 7.25 percent to its current 7.50 percent.
Economists also raised their forecasts for Brazil's consumer
price index this year to 5.35 percent from 5.26 percent.
The government targets inflation at 4.5 percent, plus or
minus 2 percentage points.
In general, the more inflation creeps up from 4.5 percent,
the likelier it is the central bank may hold or raise interest
rates to curb inflationary pressures.
Inflation in the 12 months through mid-September was 5.31
percent, while the unemployment rate fell in August
to an all-time low on a seasonally adjusted basis, Brazil's
statistics agency IBGE said on Thursday.
Taken together, both numbers strengthened the case for a
pause in the aggressive cycle of interest rate cuts, economists
said on that day.
A cut in reserve requirements for banks on Sep. 14 was also
seen by some analysts as a signal that the central bank would
keep rates on hold.
The central bank cut its benchmark Selic rate for nine
straight times since Aug. 2011 to an all-time low of 7.5 percent
to help revive a stagnating economy. Its next monetary policy
meeting is scheduled for October 10.
Lower interest rates will boost the economy to grown an
expected 4 percent next year, up from an estimated 1.57 percent
this year, the survey showed.
As the economy accelerates into 2013, the central bank will
likely raise interest rates a bit to keep inflation at bay. The
median forecast for the Selic at end-2013 was at 8.25 percent,
the same estimate made a week earlier.
Consumer prices are expected to rise 0.50 percent in
September over August, the survey showed, up from a forecast of
0.45 percent for the month made a week earlier.