Chile: Economic activity slows to almost two-year low
May 5, 2013
In March, economic activity expanded 3.1% over the same month last year, according to the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMACEC). The reading represented a deceleration compared to the 3.8% expansion observed in February and fell short of market expectations of a 4.7% increase. The print represents, in fact, the lowest figure recorded since April 2011. According to the Central Bank, the result was mostly affected by fewer working days in March this year as compared to March 2012 and by the deterioration of the industrial sector.
On a monthly basis, economic activity remained unchanged in March, which followed the 0.23% fall recorded in February. As a result of the slower growth in March, annual average growth in economic activity inched down from 5.5% in February to 5.4%.
In its latest Monetary Policy Report in March, the Central Bank sees economic growth ranging between 4.5% and 5.5% in 2013. LatinFocus Consensus Forecast panellists share this view and see the economy growing 4.8% this year, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast. For 2014, the panel expects the economy to expand 4.8%.