Chile: Business confidence dips in December
The business confidence index (IMCE, Indicador Mensual de Confianza Empresarial) published by ICARE and the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez decreased from 47 points in November to 44 points in December, marking the second consecutive monthly decline. As a result, the indicator moved further below the 50-point threshold that separates pessimism from optimism, where it has been since April 2014. Part of the reason for the fall in the index is likely due to uncertainty over the result of the second round of the presidential elections; around half of respondents were surveyed before voting took place.
December’s decrease came on the back of worsening sentiment in three of the four sectors included in the index. The construction, mining and industry sectors reported a more negative outlook, while the commercial sector grew slightly less optimistic, and was the only sector to remain in positive territory. The commercial sector benefited throughout much of 2017 from a stronger peso, as well as a resilient labor market.