Brazil raises growth forecast in 2010 budget to 5.5 pct

* Brazil govt raises growth forecast in 2010 budget

* Govt now sees 5.5 pct inflation versus 5 pct previously

BRASILIA, May 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Brazil’s government raised
its forecast for growth this year in the 2010 budget to 5.5
percent from 5.2 percent previously, the Planning Ministry
said on Thursday.

It also revised higher its estimate for inflation,
expecting the IPCA Consumer Price Index to end the year at 5.5
percent from a previous projection of 5.0 percent.

That is still modest by market expectations, with analysts
forecasting more than 6 percent growth in 2010 in the latest
central bank survey and the more optimistic banks expecting
economic expansion of as much as 7.5 percent.

The revision comes only one day after the central bank
said its new Brazilian Economic Activity Index pointed to an
expansion in economic activity of nearly 10 percent in the
first quarter of this year compared to the same time in 2009.

The budget also foresees an average real rate against the
U.S. dollar of 1.79 compared to 1.82 previously.

Brazil’s real (BRBY: ) slumped almost 3 percent on Thursday
to trade at 1.892 per dollar.

The average rate for the Selic, the benchmark interest
rate, is seen at 9.19 percent, compared with a previous
forecast of 8.7 percent.

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(Reporting by Isabel Versiani; Writing by Ana Nicolaci da
Costa; Editing by Jan Paschal)

Brazil raises growth forecast in 2010 budget to 5.5 pct