Chile: Business confidence remains optimistic
January 9, 2013
In the fourth quarter, the business confidence indicator (IEE, Indice de Expectativas Empresariales) produced by the Santiago Chamber of Commerce (Camara de Comercio de Santiago) rose to 70.2 points from 67.4 points in the third quarter. As a result, the index moved further above the 50-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism, where it has remained since Q1 2009. The improvement was broad-based, as all sectors recorded gains compared to the preceding quarter, in particular the industrial sector. In its statement, the Chamber of Commerce noted a slight increase in optimism amongst businesses, which saw lower probability of an economic downturn in the next 12 months compared to the previous quarter. In addition, firms' investment expectations and sales prospects increased notably. However, companies expect a moderation in employment across some sectors, a prospect consistent with the weakening external sector and thus lower growth outlook.