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LatinNews Daily - 19 May 2021

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In brief: GDP forecast revised up in Brazil

* Brazil’s secretariat of political economy (SPE) at the economy ministry has released the May issue of its macro-fiscal bulletin, in which it has revised up its GDP growth forecast for the year to 3.5%, up from 3.2% previously. The SPE attributes this in part to expectations of a “good result” of economic activity in Q1 2021, despite the reintroduciton of local restrictions in the face of a second wave of coronavirus (Covid-19) infections and the lack of government cash transfers during that time. The SPE cites better than expected results in Q1 – such as the “surprising” performance of the industrial and services sectors – and the advance of Covid-19 vaccination efforts as underpinning its decision to revise up its GDP forecast. The SPE has also revised up its forecast for inflation, which it now expects to close the year at 5.05%, up from the 4.42% projected in March.