SANTIAGO – Chile posted a 2.1 percent increase in economic activity in April, compared to the same month in 2018, meeting analysts’ and economists’ expectations, the Central Bank said on Wednesday.
The South American country’s economy performed better in April than in March, when economic activity rose 1.9 percent on a year-on-year basis, a figure that was still in line with some analysts’ expectations of a slow start to 2019.
The figures come from the Monthly Economic Activity Index (Imacec), which is prepared by the Central Bank and incorporates 91 percent of the goods and services included in the gross domestic product (GDP).
In April, on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Imacec rose 0.30 percent, compared to the previous month, and 2.2 percent on a year-on-year basis, with the number of business days the same as in 2018.
The Imacec for the mining sector, according to the Central Bank, increased 1.9 percent, ending a three-month streak of declines.
The gauge fell 3.3 percent in January, 6.9 percent in February and 2.1 percent in March.
The non-mining Imacec rose 2.1 percent on a year-on-year basis in April, thanks to a strong performance by the service sector, the Central Bank said.
On a seasonally adjusted basis and compared to the previous month, both the mining and non-mining Imacecs edged 0.30 percent higher.
Chile’s GDP grew 4 percent in 2018, posting the best economic growth since 2013.
The Central Bank said in its latest monetary policy report that it expected the GDP to grow between 3 percent and 4 percent this year, while the government initially forecast 3.4 percent GDP growth but later had to revise the figure downward.
Last Saturday, President Sebastian Piñera presented a budget based on GDP growth of between 3 percent and 3.5 percent for this year, taking into account the slowdown in the global economy and the trade war between the United States and China.
Finance Minister Felipe Larrain has acknowledged that achieving 3.5 percent economic growth will be challenging this year.
Larrain, however, is forecasting a “slight rebound” in economic activity in the second half of the year and has said that the economy will perform better than expected in 2019.