Uruguay says inflation speeds up in March vs Feb

* 12-month inflation running above target

* Central bank raised key rate to tame inflation

MONTEVIDEO, April 4 (Reuters) – Consumer prices in Uruguay
rose 1.42 percent in March, quickening from the inflation rate
of 0.94 percent registered in the previous month, the
government said on Monday.

The South American country’s economy expanded 8.5 percent
in 2010, the eighth straight year of growth, and the government
expects that gross domestic product will expand 4.5 percent in
2011. [ID:nSGE68002Y]

Consumer prices are increasing rapidly as well.

Inflation rose to 6.93 percent in 2010, from 5.90 percent
in 2009. And the government reported on Monday that inflation
in March quickened to 1.42 percent from 0.94 percent in
February.

Inflation in the twelve months through March climbed 8.17
percent, well above the central bank’s target range of between
4 and 6 percent for full year 2011.

Uruguay’s central bank earlier this month raised its
benchmark lending rate 100 basis points to 7.5 percent in an
unexpectedly bold move aimed at dampening consumer prices.

The International Monetary Fund has forecast that inflation
in Uruguay will likely average 6.6 percent this year.
(Reporting by Malena Castaldi; Writing by Eduardo Garcia;
Editing by Diane Craft)

Uruguay says inflation speeds up in March vs Feb