Chile: Current account surplus widens in fourth quarter
March 18, 2011
In the fourth quarter, the current account balance recorded a surplus of USD 1.2 billion, which contrasted the USD 52.7 million deficit tallied in the previous quarter. The current account surplus primarily reflected improvements in the trade balance as well as in the current transfers balance. Exports rose to USD 19.8 billion (Q3: USD 18.5 billion), while imports increased to USD 15.4 billion (Q3: USD 14.8 billion). Accordingly, the trade balance improved from a USD 3.7 billion surplus in the third quarter to a USD 4.4 billion surplus in the fourth. In the full year 2010, Chile's current account posted a USD 3.8 billion surplus (1.9% of GDP), which was up from the USD 2.6 billion (1.6% of GDP) surplus registered in 2009. The Central Bank attributed the USD 1.2 billion increase to the robust trade balance and larger current transfers, driven by taxes on foreign investment remittances as well as insurance payments following the February earthquake.