Chile: Business confidence deteriorates slightly
January 13, 2012
In the fourth quarter, the business confidence index (IEE, indice de Expectativas Empresariales) produced by the Camara de Comercio de Santiago (CCS) edged down to 62.6 points from 63.3 points in the previous quarter. Confidence dropped for a fourth consecutive quarter, falling to the lowest level since Q2 2009. With this quarter's drop, the index fell below the long-term average (67 points), suggesting a deceleration in economic activity in the months ahead. In spite of the fall, however, the index remains above the 50-point threshold that separates optimism from pessimism. The quarterly drop was broad-based as confidence in all sectors deteriorated over the previous quarter, with the exception of natural resources. In addition, investment, sales, and employment expectations also moderated over the previous quarter. Consequently, expectations about the economic outlook for the next twelve months worsened. Declining optimism among businesses does not bode well for investment in the months ahead.