UPDATE 1-Brazil's economy seen growing less than 1 pct in 2014 - survey
(Adds details on GDP revision, background) By Silvio Cascione BRASILIA, July 21 (Reuters) - Brazil's economy will probably grow less than 1 percent this year, edging closer to a recession as weak confidence and higher interest rates hamper investments and industrial output, a weekly survey of economists showed on Monday. Economists trimmed their forecasts for Brazil's 2014 economic growth for an eighth straight week to 0.97 percent, from 1.05 percent in the prior week's survey. The poll conducted by the central bank features the median forecasts of about 100 financial institutions. Among the banks that cut their estimates for Brazil's growth last week were Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Societe Generale, citing low confidence among businesses and consumers and weak industrial data. Brazil, once one of the most dynamic of emerging economies, could be in a recession already according to some analysts who say the economy likely shrank between April and June and that growth in the previous quarter could be revised into negative territory. High inflation has been one of the main reasons for dimming confidence among businesses. Consumer prices are expected to end 2014 near the upper limit of the central bank's target band at 6.44 percent, according to the poll. The forecast was revised slightly down from 6.48 percent in the prior week's survey. Forecasts for interest rates were unchanged in the survey at 11 percent at end-2014 and 12 percent at end-2015. Brazil's sluggish economy could be decisive in the upcoming October presidential elections, in which President Dilma Rousseff will seek another four-year term. Support for her has slipped in the last two weeks, and she is statistically tied with her main challenger in a possible second-round runoff, a poll released on Thursday showed. (pct) 2014 2015 previous new previous new forecast forecast forecast forecast Consumer inflation 6.48 6.44 6.10 6.12 Exchange rate 2.39 2.35 2.50 2.50 (reais per U.S dollar, end-period) Interest rate 11.00 11.00 12.00 12.00 (end-period) GDP growth 1.05 0.97 1.50 1.50 Industrial output -0.90 -1.15 1.80 1.70 (Reporting by Silvio Cascione; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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