UPDATE 1-Analysts see Brazil 2012 GDP growth at below 3 pct
* GDP seen growing 2.99 pct this year - central banks poll
* Analysts cut inflation estimate at 5.17 pct in 2012 (Adds details, background throughout)
SAO PAULO May 28 (Reuters) - Economists cut their forecasts for Brazil's economic growth and inflation this year, a weekly central bank survey showed on Monday, in the latest sign that a slowdown is seen as hitting Latin America's largest economy harder than previously thought.
The median estimate for Brazil's 2012 economic growth fell for a third week, sliding to 2.99 percent from 3.09 percent the prior week, the poll showed. Analysts kept their estimates for growth in 2013 at 4.50 percent.
The so-called Focus survey from the central bank, which tracks weekly forecasts of the most widely watched economic indicators in Brazil, showed analysts foresee consumer prices climbing 5.17 percent by year-end, compared with last week's 5.21 percent prediction.
The central bank targets inflation of 4.5 percent annually, with a leeway of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
According to the Focus survey, the median view for inflation next year remained unchanged at 5.60 percent.
The country's benchmark Selic overnight interest rate is expected to end this year at the record low of 8 percent, the survey showed, unchanged from last week's forecasts. The Selic is currently at 9 percent, after being successively cut from 12.50 percent in late August to prevent a recession in the world's sixth-largest economy.
The central bank's rate-setting committee meets this week to decide on its next policy move. A Reuters poll showed last week that most economists expect a 50-basis-point rate cut.
Consumer prices were seen rising 0.47 percent in May, according to the Focus.
The survey's results are the median forecast of analysts polled by the central bank at about 100 financial institutions.
For the central bank's publication of the survey, click on: here (Reporting by Silvio Cascione Editing by W Simon)
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