Chile Economic Activity March 2017


Chile: Economic activity inches up in March

May 8, 2017

Economic activity ticked up 0.2% in March on an annual basis, according to the Monthly Indicator for Economic Activity (IMACEC) published by Chile’s Central Bank. This followed the 1.3% decline recorded in February and surprised analysts, who were banking on a slight contraction. It should however be noted that March 2017 contained one more working day than the same month of the prior year, which flattered the final figure. The strike at the Escondida copper mine, the world’s largest, has weighed heavily on the economy in recent months, and the mining IMACEC registered another steep fall in March. However, on the positive side, both the trade and manufacturing sectors expanded, and with the labor dispute now resolved copper production will ramp up over the coming months.

On a monthly basis, economic activity in March dipped 0.2% in seasonally adjusted terms, a slight improvement from February’s 0.7% drop. The overall trend in March consequently pointed downwards, with annual average growth in economic activity sliding from 1.2% in February to 1.0% in March.

The Central Bank sees GDP expanding between 1.0% and 2.0% in 2017. Panelists participating in the LatinFocus Consensus Forecast see the economy growing 1.7% in 2017, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2018, the panel expects the economy to pick up speed and expand 2.5%.

Author:, Economist

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Chile Economic Activity Chart

Chile Economic Activity March 2017 1

Note: Year-on-year changes and annual average growth rate in %.
Source: Chile Central Bank (BCC) and FocusEconomics calculations.

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