Economists Again Cut Growth Forecasts for Brazil

Economists Again Cut Growth Forecasts for Brazil

Brazil’s 2015 GDP is expected to shrink by 1% this year

By

ROGERIO JELMAYER/WSJ

March 30, 2015 7:59 a.m. ET

SÃO PAULO—Economists again cut their growth forecasts for Brazil in 2015 and for next year, as Latin America’s largest economy struggles to regain traction.

Brazil’s 2015 gross domestic product is expected to shrink by 1% this year, compared with a 0.83% decline expected last week, according to a weekly central bank survey of 100 economists. This marked the 13th-consecutive reduction of the growth outlook by economists.

For next year, economists reduced their view for the fourth consecutive time. They now expect the economy to expand 1.05%, compared with 1.20% growth expected in last week’s survey.

Brazil’s grew 0.1% last year, according to the country’s statistical bureau, the IBGE.

Meanwhile, economists increased slightly their estimate for the 2015 inflation rate, as measured by the consumer-price index, to 8.13% from 8.12%, according to the survey.

For next year, they reduced their estimates for inflation to 5.60% from 5.61%.

Survey respondents increased their outlook for the benchmark Selic interest rate at the end 2015 to 13.25% from 13%, and they see the rate ending next year at 11.50%. The rate is currently 12.75%.

The forecast for the 2015 trade balance was increased, with economists expecting a surplus of $4 billion, up from the $3.50 billion surplus seen last week, according to the survey.

Write to Rogerio Jelmayer at rogerio.jelmayer@wsj.com

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