Economists cut Brazil growth forecast

Brasilia, March 19 (IANS/EFE) Financial analysts have lowered their 2013 growth forecast for the Brazilian economy from 3.1 percent to 3.03 percent, the central bank said.

The lower figure emerged from the central bank’s weekly survey of private-sector economists.
The experts grew more pessimistic even though the central bank reported last week that Brazil’s gross domestic product grew 1.29 percent in January relative to the previous month.
According to the bank’s Boletin Focus, the economists also revised downward their inflation forecast for 2013 from 5.82 percent to 5.73 percent.
Brazil’s government is trying to cope with a double whammy of higher prices and slow growth after inflation ended 2012 at 5.84 percent despite annual gross domestic product growth of a mere 0.9 percent.
After the consumer price index rose 1.47 percent in the first two months of this year, the central bank warned that higher inflation may not be a “temporary phenomenon” and hinted that it may be necessary to raise its Selic benchmark interest rate in the near future.