Chile: Business confidence surges further into positive territory in February
March 5, 2018
The business confidence index (IMCE, Indicador Mensual de Confianza Empresarial) published by ICARE and the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez surged from 53.8 points in January to 57.4 points in February, moving further into optimistic territory and marking the highest reading since April 2013. Firms are likely reacting positively to the recent election of business-friendly Sebastian Piñera as Chile’s next president, and to strong global economic activity.
All sectors—mining, industry, trade and construction—chalked up improvements in sentiment in February. Only construction remained in pessimistic territory, although sentiment improved sharply from the prior month and is now above the series’ historical average. This is in line with recent construction activity (IMACON) readings, which improved markedly in November and December. The mining sector remained the most optimistic, likely driven by higher copper prices and Piñera’s pledges to modify the previous administration’s labor reform and speed up the approval process for large investment projects.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist