* Brazil inflation to remain around 5.7 pct in 2013,
* Forecasts for growth, interest rates largely unchanged
SAO PAULO, April 1 Economists raised forecasts
for Brazil's 2014 inflation for the third straight week, a
weekly central bank survey showed on Monday, suggesting
policymakers will need to raise interest rates to keep price
expectations under control.
Consumer prices will probably rise 5.68 percent next year,
up from a forecast of 5.60 percent in the prior week's survey,
according to the median estimate of about 100 financial
institutions polled for the so-called Focus survey.
The outlook for the benchmark IPCA price index in the next
12 months was also revised up to a rise of to 5.43 percent from
5.42 percent in the prior week.
The central bank targets inflation at 4.5 percent, with a
tolerance margin of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Estimates for economic growth, interest rates and consumer
prices in 2013 remained largely unchanged. Economists have been
expecting a mild economic recovery in Brazil this year, but
stubbornly high inflation should force the central bank to raise
interest rates in coming months from a record low.
The central bank on Thursday said it also expects inflation
to remain relatively high in the next two years, but stopped
short of signaling an imminent rate hike.
The outlook for upcoming monthly inflation figures remained
unchanged, though. Economists held their forecasts for March's
consumer price increases at 0.50 percent.
(pct) 2013 2014
previous new previous new
forecast forecast forecast forecast
Consumer inflation 5.71 5.71 5.60 5.68
Exchange rate 2.00 2.00 2.05 2.05
Interest rate 8.50 8.50 8.50 8.50
GDP growth 3.00 3.01 3.50 3.50
Industrial output 3.00 3.12 3.95 3.95