Chile: Business confidence recovers lost ground in September
The business confidence index (IMCE, Indicador Mensual de Confianza Empresarial) published by ICARE and the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez rose from 50.8 points in August—the lowest reading so far this year—to 54.8 points in September, marking the highest print in three months. As a result, the index moved further above the crucial 50-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism among businesses, where it has been since January. In August, three out of the four sectors surveyed were in positive territory.
Although the overall improvement in September was broad-based, the mining sector led the charge. Mining sentiment increased by 12 points in September and has recovered the ground lost in July and August against the backdrop of an improved perception of the current general situation among business and more optimistic output expectations. Meanwhile, the industrial sector saw confidence swing back to positive territory in September, after a brief dip below the critical 50-point threshold in August.
The increase in overall business confidence was further propped up by marked improvement in the commercial sector with sentiment up in September from August amid a markedly more favorable perception of the country’s economic outlook. Lastly, despite improving marginally from the previous month, sentiment in the construction sector remained entrenched in pessimistic territory in September where it has been since March.