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BRASILIA, March 31 (Reuters) - Brazil's central bank raised its inflation forecast for 2016 and 2017, signaling policymakers will not cut interest rates yet despite a deepening recession in Latin America's biggest economy.
In its quarterly inflation report released on Thursday, the bank raised its 2017 inflation forecast to 4.9 percent from 4.8 percent previously. For 2016, the bank raised its forecast to 6.6 percent from 6.2 percent previously.
It sees annual inflation dropping to 4.5 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
The central bank aims to keep inflation at the 4.5 percent, the center of the official target range.
It said it was not considering monetary easing under current conditions. (Reporting by Alonso Soto and Silvio Cascione Editing by W Simon)