Chile: Business confidence declines in March
April 6, 2017
The business confidence index (IMCE, Indicador Mensual de Confianza Empresarial) published by ICARE and the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez fell from 46.0 points in February to 45.1 points in March, putting paid to three consecutive monthly increases. Following the drop, the indicator remains stuck below the 50-point threshold that separates pessimism from optimism, where it has been since April 2014.
March’s decline was due to worsening sentiment in the industry, commercial and mining sectors, with only the construction sector bucking the trend. However, the construction sector remains mired in pessimistic territory as a result of sluggish investment and stricter mortgage requirements. The commercial sector is now in neutral territory, with firms growing considerably less optimistic regarding their financial conditions, while businesses in the industry sector became more downbeat with respect to prices and output. Only the mining sector remained in optimistic territory, despite the uncertainty emanating from the labor dispute at the Escondida copper mine.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist