Brazil’s economy set to grow 3.5 pct in 2006

6 January 2006

Sao Paulo, Brazil, 6 Jan – The Brazilian economy will grow by 3.5 percent this year, according to a report published Friday by the Latin American nation’s central bank.

The Central Bank of Brazil, which compiled its study after consulting 100 economic analysts, said that base interest rates would likely fall from the current 18 percent to 15 percent by the end of 2006.

Brazil’s trade surplus will climb in the coming year to US$ 35.5 billion with exports worth US$ 132 billion and imports of US$ 96.5 billion, the central bank predicts.

Inflation is forecast to drop to 4.5 percent in 2006 from last year’s 5.68 percent.

The central bank’s prediction for GDP growth in 2005 is 2.4 percent. An official declaration of this figure has yet to be made.

Brazil’s economy grew some 4.9 percent in 2004 in one of the best performances in recent years.

Latin America’s biggest economy saw its trade surplus climb 33 percent in 2005 to reach a value of US$ 44.8 billion, the highest ever figure recorded in Brazil. (macauhub)