TABLE-Economists raise Brazil's 2014 inflation view to 6.28 pct
BRASILIA, March 24 (Reuters) - Brazil's inflation will end 2014 very near the ceiling of the government's target range, according to a weekly central bank survey of about 100 economists released on Monday. Brazil's inflation as measured by the IPCA benchmark consumer price index will end 2014 at 6.28 percent, up from an estimate of 6.11 percent in the prior week's survey, according to the median forecast in the survey. Brazil's central bank targets inflation at 4.5 percent, with a tolerance margin of 2 percentage points. The bank has been raising interest rates for nearly a year to curb consumer price rises, but a recent jump in food costs caused by a drought in southern Brazil will probably prevent inflation from dropping over the coming months, economists say. Economists also raised their estimates for Brazil's Selic benchmark lending rate at end-2014 to 11.25 percent, up from 11.00 percent in the prior week. (pct) 2014 2015 previous new previous new forecast forecast forecast forecast Consumer inflation 6.11 6.28 5.70 5.80 Exchange rate 2.49 2.49 2.54 2.55 (reais per U.S dollar, end-period) Interest rate 11.00 11.25 12.00 12.00 (end-period) GDP growth 1.70 1.70 2.00 2.00 Industrial output 1.44 1.41 3.00 3.00 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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