Chile: Business confidence hits highest level in two years
April 18, 2013
In the first quarter, the business confidence index (IEE, Indice de Expectativas Empresariales) produced by the Santiago Chamber of Commerce (Camara de Comercio de Santiago) rose to 70.9 points from the 70.2 points recorded in the last quarter of 2012. At the current level, the index sits at its highest point in two years as well as significantly above the 50-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism.
Industry was the only sector to record gains relative to the previous quarter, but this was enough to more than compensate for a slight deterioration in the services and commercial sectors. In its statement, the Chamber of Commerce noted that the percentage of firms expecting better economic conditions in the next 12 months deteriorated slightly in the first quarter. In addition, firms' expect sales and investment to moderate across some sectors, something consistent with the weakening growth outlook. On the other hand, firms' employment prospects improved in Q1.
Focus Economics panelists expect fixed investment to grow 8.9% this year, which is up 0.4 percentage points percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel sees fixed investment accelerating to a 7.1% expansion.