SANTIAGO – Chile’s economic activity grew 2.6 percent in September compared with the same month last year, exceeding the consensus forecast of a 2.2 percent increase, the Central Bank said Thursday.
The major drivers of growth in September were services and manufacturing, the bank said.
Non-seasonally adjusted figures show economic activity increasing 1.1 percent between August and September.
The Monthly Index of Economic Activity tracks goods and services representing about 91 percent of gross domestic product, and the index is seen as a reliable predictor of GDP performance.
Chile’s economy is only gradually turning around after a deceleration that pulled growth down to an anemic 1.9 percent in 2014, the worst performance in five years.
In September, the Central Bank revised downward its forecast for growth this year, to a range of between 2 percent and 2.5 percent.
The economic activity reading for September is “good news,” Finance Minister Rodrigo Valdes said.
“It shows that the economy is adapting to these difficult external circumstances, that we face headwinds, but we have a ship that can navigate against these winds,” he told reporters.
The growth rate is “lower than what we would like to see, but it continues expanding,” Valdes said.