SANTIAGO – Chilean economic activity expanded at an annual rate of 3.2 percent in November, exceeding market expectations and economists’ forecasts, the Central Bank said in a report released on Friday.
The rise in the Imacec monthly economic activity index easily topped forecasts for 2.5 percent growth and was the highest since February 2016. That index grew 2.9 percent in October.
The Imacec encompasses around 91 percent of the goods and services included in Chile’s gross domestic product and is considered a preview of the GDP figure.
Compared with October, the Imacec rose a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent.
The mining component of the Imacec was up 2.9 percent from November 2016, while the index’s non-mining component climbed 3.2 percent, mainly driven by gains in retail sales, services and manufacturing, the report said.
Chile’s GDP rose 2.2 percent in the third quarter of last year compared to July-September 2016 and, according to the Central Bank’s latest forecast, is expected to end 2017 with growth of 1.4 percent.
Chile’s economy – which has endured a long period of slow economic expansion – is forecast to rebound with growth of between 2.5 percent and 3.5 percent in 2018, the Central Bank said in its December monetary policy report.
Conservative billionaire Sebastian Piñera, who had previously been head of state from 2010 to 2014, was elected president a second time in December.
His victory was attributed in part to slow economic growth rates under incumbent President Michelle Bachelet, who was constitutionally barred from seeking re-election in 2017.