Chile: Business confidence falls in July
The business confidence index (IMCE, Indicador Mensual de Confianza Empresarial) published by ICARE and the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez fell from June’s 55.1 points to 52.2 in July, marking the lowest reading this year so far. Nevertheless, the index remained above the crucial 50-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among businesses, where it has been since January. Three out of the four sectors surveyed were in positive territory at the beginning of the third quarter.
The deterioration was led by a significant drop in sentiment in the mining sector, which fell from June’s 65.4 to 53.1 in July, weighed down by a decline in copper prices in June in the face of mounting fears of a global trade war. The industrial sector also saw a weakening from the previous month in July, with sentiment down to the lowest point since January, and only marginally fixed in the positive territory (July: 50.3 points; June: 53.2 points).
Meanwhile, the construction sector was the only one to see a strengthening in July from the previous month: Confidence reversed three consecutive months of decline and increased from June’s 43.1 points to 46.2 points. Sentiment in the commercial sector, meanwhile, remained broadly unchanged at 58.6 points in July (June: 58.9 points).