UPDATE 1-Brazil economists see 2010 inflation steadying

* Economists keep 2010 IPCA view steady at 5.67 percent

* Projection comes after 18 weeks of rising forecasts
(Adds inflation expectations, GDP forecasts)

SAO PAULO, May 31 (BestGrowthStock) – Economists in a weekly
central bank survey kept their forecasts for Brazil’s benchmark
inflation index steady for the first time in almost five months
in a sign that inflation expectations are leveling off.

Economists kept their forecast for the benchmark IPCA
inflation index steady at 5.67 percent in 2010, after 18
straight weeks of raising projections, the central bank said on
Monday.

Building inflation expectations was part of the reason the
central bank aggressively hiked its main interest rate in
April, which took borrowing costs to 9.5 percent. The bank is
expected to continue to raise rates, with the benchmark Selic
rate closing the year at 11.75 percent, according to the
survey.

Economists raised their expectations for growth in Latin
America’s largest economy only slightly, betting on an
expansion of 6.47 percent against a forecast of 6.46 percent a
week ago.

Brazil was among the first countries to emerge from the
global financial crisis last year, and many fear its economy
could overheat.

For 2011, the inflation estimates were kept at 4.8 percent
for a seventh straight week.

The central bank has a 4.5 percent inflation target for 2010
and 2011, plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Stock Market Investing
(Reporting by Elzio Barreto and Ana Nicolaci da Costa; Editing
by Padraic Cassidy)

UPDATE 1-Brazil economists see 2010 inflation steadying