UPDATE 2-Chile to trim fiscal deficit in 2018 as growth rebounds -minister

(Adds copper price, analysts' quote)

SANTIAGO, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Chile's center-left government aims to reduce its fiscal deficit to 1.9 percent of gross domestic product next year despite a rise in spending, as an economic recovery boosts tax revenues, the finance minister said on Monday.

Nicolás Eyzaguirre told a congressional finance committee that the growth rate of Latin America's sixth-largest economy would double next year to 3.0 percent.

A rebound in the price of copper, Chile's main export, is helping President Michelle Bachelet shore up public finances in the final year of her administration. The copper price rose by 9.2 percent in the third quarter, marking its fifth quarterly increase.

Helped by the strengthening economy, Chile's fiscal deficit will end this year at 2.7 percent of GDP, Eyzaguirre said - below the government's initial target of 3.1 percent.

"Everything points toward a sustained and systematic recovery not only in Chile ... but in world trade," the minister told the commission, presenting next year's budget.

Chile has long been one of Latin America's most fiscally sound countries, but a previous decline in copper-related revenues and higher spending under Bachelet widened the fiscal deficit and contributed to recent downgrades by credit rating agencies Fitch and S&P.

Eyzaguirre, appointed in late August after his predecessor resigned, said a 7.5 percent rise in government revenues next year would help drive the reduction in the deficit.

The budget is based on an easing in the price of copper to an average of $2.88 a pound next year, down from a current level of $2.93.

Inflation, which stood at 1.9 percent in the 12 months to August, is forecast to rise to 2.8 percent next year, with the peso currency weakening to 650 to the dollar. The peso was trading at around 639 per dollar on Monday.

Bachelet, who will step aside in March, surprised many analysts on Sunday when she announced a 3.9 percent spending hike in the 2018 budget, well above the 3.0 percent the market forecast.

Former President Sebastian Pinera, the front-runner in November's election to succeed Bachelet, voiced concerns on Monday about the increase in spending and Chile's rising debt.

Analysts at Banco Santander said, however, that the fiscal impact of the budget was "relatively neutral" given faster growth.

"The deficit we forecast for next year would mean a reduction in the rhythm of accumulation of debt, which could situate itself between 24 and 25 percent of GDP," the bank said in a research note.

(Additional reporting by Antonio de la Jara; Writing by Daniel Flynn; Editing by W Simon and Peter Cooney)