Chile: Business confidence picks up in February but firms remain pessimistic
March 6, 2017
The business confidence index (IMCE, Indicador Mensual de Confianza Empresarial) published by ICARE and the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez rose to 46.0 points in February, up from 44.9 points in the previous month and marking the highest reading in one year. Despite the uptick, the indicator still remains stubbornly below the 50-point threshold that separates pessimism from optimism, where it has been since April 2014.
February’s rise was due to improving sentiment in the industry and commercial sectors. The commercial sector, which moved further into positive territory, grew markedly more optimistic regarding sales and firms’ financial health. Meanwhile, in the construction and mining sectors sentiment worsened. The construction sector remained mired in pessimistic territory as a result of sluggish investment and stricter mortgage requirements, while the mining sector was likely negatively impacted by the uncertainty stemming from strike action.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist