Brazil Economy Ministry raises inflation outlook for 2021, 2022

By Marcela Ayres

BRASILIA, Sept 16 (Reuters) - The Brazilian government raised its forecast for inflation amid rising energy prices and a severe drought in Latin America's largest economy, but reaffirmed economic growth projections despite short-term risk factors.

The Economy Ministry said on Thursday inflation as measured by the IPCA consumer price index would accelerate by 7.9% this year, from a previously forecast 5.9%, and by 3.75% in 2022, from 3.5%, as projected before.

Adolfo Sachsida, Brazil's economic policy secretary, said he recognized that inflation may stymie the country's economic growth prospects. But he said the advance of mass vaccinations, reforms, upcoming privatizations and a recovering services sector would fuel an expansion over the next few quarters.

He also praised the Central Bank's monetary policy even as Brazil deals with multiple economic shocks.

The Economy Ministry maintained its forecasts for gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 5.3% this year and 2.5% next year.

In recent days many private economists have lowered their forecasts, saying the outlook has deteriorated.

During a press briefing, Sachsida played down the impact of monetary policy tightening and fiscal restrictions.

He said the country's upcoming spectrum auction for 5G networks, as well as the privatization of companies like Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras ELET6.SA and the national postal service would help attract private investment.

Reporting by Marcela Ayres Writing by Ana Mano Editing by Brad Haynes and Christian Plumb

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