The FINANCIAL — Financial-market analysts and economists reduced slightly their forecasts for Brazil's inflation for this year, according to a survey by the Central Bank of Brazil published Monday.
Economists decreased the country's inflation average forecast to 5.27% at the end of this year, from 5.28% previously, according to the survey. The forecast is above the central bank's inflation target of 4.5% for 2012.
Respondents maintained their inflation forecast for 2013 at 5.50%.
Brazil's inflation rate reached 6.50% last year, the highest since hitting 7.6% in 2004.
The central bank's weekly survey tracks the opinions of 100 analysts and economists and reports the average of their expectations.
Meanwhile, the forecasts for the central bank's benchmark Selic interest rate at the end of 2012 and 2013 were maintained.
Economists see the Selic rate for the end of 2012 at 9%, while their outlook for the end of next year remained at 10%.
Respondents reduced their estimate for Brazil's 2012 gross domestic product growth to 3.2% from 3.23%.
According to Borsa Italiana – London Stock Exchange Group, in addition, they reduced their outlook for the country's economy expansion for the next year to 4.2% from 4.29%.
The average expectation for Brazil's debt-to-GDP ratio at the end of this year was increased to 36.50% from 36.20%.
The forecast for this year's trade surplus was maintained at $19 billion. Analysts expect Brazil to post a current-account deficit of $69 billion at the end of this year.
Brazil's currency, the real, is expected to end this year at BRL1.77 to the dollar, according to the survey.