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'Brazil's economy to grow two percent this year'

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Brasilia, July 5 (IANS/EFE) The Brazilian economy will expand by 2 percent in 2013 and manufacturing will grow barely 1 percent, the National Confederation of Industry, or CNI, said Thursday.

Those figures represent a significant downward revision from the CNI's March forecast, which predicted 2.6 percent growth in manufacturing and a gain of 3.2 percent in gross domestic product.

"The current economic environment, both internal and external, determines the Brazilian economy for 2013, which will be a year of reduced growth and elevated inflation," the CNI said in its second-quarter evaluation.

Brazil's government continues to work with a projection of 3.5 percent GDP growth this year, though Finance Minister Guido Mantega has acknowledged the forecast should be adjusted downward.

Responses to the central bank's latest weekly survey of private sector analysts point to an expansion of 2.4 percent in 2013.

The CNI also dialed back its expectations for growth in domestic consumption, from 3.5 percent to 2.3 percent.

"The model of economic growth reliant on domestic consumption no longer holds up," the CNI said, advocating "an increase in competitiveness and a strong renewal of investment".



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