PREVIEW-Chile CPI seen up 0.8 percent in March

 WHAT: March consumer price index data (CLCPI=ECI: Quote, Profile, Research)
 WHEN: Thursday, April 8 at 8 a.m. local time (1100 GMT)
 REUTERS FORECAST: Median forecast of 0.8 percent in a poll
of 15 analysts, whose estimates ranged for a CPI gain of 0.7
percent to 0.9 percent.
 Consumer prices rose 0.2 percent in February and the
central bank sees annual inflation climbing to 4.3 percent for
2011, breaching its target range, before easing to below 4
percent early next year. [ID:nN04237988]
 FACTORS TO WATCH: Persistent high global food costs and
energy prices could compound inflationary pressures in the
energy-strapped nation, which imports 99 percent of the fuel it
consumes.
 Robust economic growth, which clocked 7.2 percent in March
from a year earlier, will increase labor demand and could
continue to boost wages, the central bank has warned.
 MARKET IMPACT: Higher-than-expected inflation in March
would further spur expectations for Chile's central bank to
raise interest rates by 50 basis points in April for a second
consecutive month as economic growth outpaces expectations.
[ID:nN05100042]
 Central Bank President Jose De Gregorio has said fighting
inflation is his main focus, taking a hawkish line on stemming
oil-driven price rises and playing down the importance of
restraining the peso's appreciation in order to help
exporters' competitiveness.
 The central bank launched a $12 billion currency
intervention in January to tame peso strength, but the currency
has rebounded from the initial impact as interest rates have
climbed and the price of main export copper stays strong.
 (Reporting by Moises Avila and Maria Jose Latorre. Writing by
Helen Popper, Editing by W Simon )
 ([email protected]; +54 11 4318 0655; Reuters
Messaging: [email protected]))




PREVIEW-Chile CPI seen up 0.8 percent in March