Chile: Business confidence edges down in June
The business confidence index (IMCE, Indicador Mensual de Confianza Empresarial) published by ICARE and the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez edged down from May’s 55.9 points to 55.1 in June. As a result, the index remained firmly above the crucial 50-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among businesses, having been in positive territory since the beginning of the year.
Leading the overall slowdown was sentiment in the construction industry, which fell for the third consecutive month in June, hitting a year-to-date low of 43.1. Sentiment was weighed down by weak demand conditions, which offset strong construction activity levels and more optimistic future expectations in the industry.
Meanwhile, sentiment in both the mining and the commercial sectors remained roughly in line with the previous month’s levels. Confidence in the mining sector eased from May’s three-year high of 66.5 points (June: 65.4 points) amid easing demand and slightly less optimistic expectations of future output. Confidence in the commercial sector was 58.9, still elevated but nevertheless a fresh year-to-date low.
The industrial sector was the only one to see a strengthening from the previous month in June: Sentiment rose marginally to 53.2 in the month, driven by improving confidence about future output and more favorable outlook for prices. Consequently, three out of four sectors were in positive territory in June.