Brazil's economy to grow less than expected

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Brazil's finance minister is lowering the forecast for the South American country's economic growth this year, and he blames the global financial crisis.

Finance Minister Guido Mantega says Brazil's gross domestic product is now expected to increase 4 percent during 2012, against a previous prediction of 4.5 percent growth.

The latest weekly Brazilian Central Bank survey of private economists is forecasting even lower growth this year, putting it at 3.1 percent.

Mantega says Brazil prospects have been hurt especially by Greece's debt crisis and the austerity measures introduced elsewhere in Europe.