SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Economists trimmed forecasts for Brazil’s economic growth this year and next for the fifth straight week, a central bank survey showed on Monday.
The largest Latin American economy -- and one of the fastest growing countries only two years ago -- is now expected to expand just 1.00 percent this year, down from 1.03 percent seen in the prior week, according to the poll’s median forecasts.
Brazilian businesses have suffered from lacklustre investment levels, rising labour costs and a heavy tax burden. President Dilma Rousseff has offered several stimulus measures over the past year and according to media reports is studying further steps to revive growth.
The central bank also cut interest rates 10 straight times to a record low of 7.25 percent, and is expected to leave borrowing costs there at least through the end of 2013, according to the poll of around 100 economists.
Estimates for 2012 and 2013 inflation were revised up slightly. Consumer prices should rise 5.60 percent in 2012, up from a forecast of 5.58 percent in the prior week, and 5.42 percent in 2013, up from an estimate of 5.40 percent previously.
The government targets inflation at 4.5 percent, with a tolerance margin of 2 percentage points in each direction. Inflation accelerated more than expected in November after transportation and electricity prices spiked.
For the central bank poll, see: here
Reporting by Silvio Cascione Editing by W Simon