* Interest rate outlook unchanged in central bank survey
* Consumer prices to rise 5.70 pct this year, economists say
* Economists cut 2013, 2014 growth forecasts
SAO PAULO, Feb 18 Economists kept their
forecasts for Brazil's consumer inflation, economic growth and
interest rates largely unchanged, a weekly central bank survey
showed on Monday.
The outlook for inflation, as measured by the benchmark IPCA
consumer price index, edged down to 5.70 percent from 5.71
percent in the prior week, according to the median forecast of
around 100 economists.
The central bank targets inflation at 4.5 percent, with a
tolerance margin of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Economists also lowered their forecasts for growth of Latin
America's largest economy in 2013 to 3.08 percent. They trimmed
their median estimate for 2014 GDP growth to 3.65 percent.
Economists maintained their forecasts for Brazil's benchmark
interest rate. This contrasts with growing bets in futures
markets that the central bank may need to raise the rate this
year to keep inflation within the target.
In February, consumer prices are expected to rise 0.42
percent, up from a previous forecast of 0.41 percent, the poll
(pct) 2013 2014
previous new previous new
forecast forecast forecast forecast
Consumer inflation 5.71 5.70 5.50 5.50
Exchange rate 2.03 2.02 2.05 2.05
Interest rate 7.25 7.25 8.25 8.25
GDP growth 3.09 3.08 3.80 3.65
Industrial output 3.10 3.00 3.70 3.50