UPDATE 1-Reuters Summit-Uruguay sees GDP view up from 4.5 pct

(For other news from the Reuters Latin American Investment
Summit, click on

* Uruguay GDP expanding for eighth year in a row

* Inflation running above target, central bank ups rates
(Adds context, data, comments from Astori, byline)

By Malena Castaldi

MONTEVIDEO, March 30 (Reuters) – Uruguay’s government will
raise its 2011 economic growth forecast from the current 4.5
percent, Vice President Danilo Astori told the Reuters Latin
America Investment Summit on Wednesday.

The South American country’s economy is expanding for an
eighth straight year, buoyed by high commodity prices.

“Without a doubt, the government will have to update its
prediction on the upside,” Astori said in Montevideo.

Uruguay’s economy grew by 8.5 percent last year.

Last week, Uruguay’s central bank raised its benchmark
lending rate 100 basis points to 7.5 percent in an unexpectedly
bold move aimed at taming inflation. Annual inflation was 7.67
percent through February, above the central bank’s target range
of 4 percent to 6 percent by year-end.

But the South American country does not plan to change its
inflation target, the vice president said.

“We are worried that we are out of the target range … We
want to meet the target because it is a commitment,” Astori
said. “We do not plan to modify the target range on the

The government’s intervention in the foreign exchange
market will continue as it attempts to control the strength of
the local currency, Astori said.

“The buying and selling of foreign exchange, which the
government is doing more of, will continue to play an important
role,” he said.
(For top stories from the Reuters Latin American Investment
Summit, see [ID:nN27135818])
(Reporting by Malena Castaldi; Writing by Eduardo Garcia)

UPDATE 1-Reuters Summit-Uruguay sees GDP view up from 4.5 pct