Chile: Business confidence surges in September
October 5, 2017
The business confidence index (IMCE, Indicador Mensual de Confianza Empresarial) published by ICARE and the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez soared from 43.2 points in August to 48.3 points in September. The improved reading was in line with other signs pointing towards an economic uptick in Q3. However, the indicator remains below the 50-point threshold that separates pessimism from optimism, where it has been since April 2014.
September’s increase came on the back of improving sentiment across the board. The commercial sector reported a more positive outlook due to improved general business conditions and employment prospects, while the mining sector grew markedly more optimistic, likely spurred by the recent surge in copper prices. The industry sector became less pessimistic thanks to improved production expectations, while the construction sector remained mired in pessimistic territory despite a rise in September. Q2 data from the Chilean Chamber of Construction showed that there was still a large supply of homes on the market in the capital, and financial conditions remained unfavorable for construction firms. On the positive side, mortgage loans have seen a slight recovery in recent months.
Author: Oliver Reynolds, Economist