Chile: Economic activity beats expectations
May 8, 2012
In March, economic activity expanded 5.2% over the same month last year, according to the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMACEC, Indicador Mensual de Actividad Economica). The reading came in below the 6.1% increase registered in February but exceeded market expectations, which had economic activity expanding to 4.0%. According to the Central Bank, the March reading was driven by strong growth in commerce, energy supply as well as in services. Meanwhile, economic activity expanded 0.87% over the previous month in seasonally adjusted terms, faster than the 0.29% increase witnessed in February. In spite of the monthly improvement, annual average growth fell from 5.7% in February to 5.0% in March. Based on monthly figures, economic activity expanded 5.6% in the first quarter of the year, which would represent an acceleration compared to the 4.5% growth rate observed in the fourth quarter.