SANTIAGO – Economic activity in Chile grew by a better-than-expected 1.5 percent in December compared with the same month in 2014, the Central Bank reported Friday.
December’s advance brought growth for all of last year to 2 percent, matching the latest projections and just short of the Central Bank prediction of 2.1 percent.
The figures released Friday correspond to the Monthly Index of Economic Activity, which tracks goods and services representing about 91 percent of gross domestic product and is seen as a reliable predictor of GDP performance.
Chile’s economy is slowly picking up steam after a deceleration that pulled growth down to an anemic 1.9 percent in 2014, the worst performance in five years.
The Central Bank recently revised downward its forecast for 2016, calling for expansion in the range of 2 percent to 3 percent.
President Michelle Bachelet’s administration drafted its 2016 budget on the assumption that GDP would grow 2.75 percent, but Finance Minister Rodrigo Valdes acknowledged this week that the official projection is looking less realistic given continuing deterioration in the global economy.
Valdes said economic activity in January was tepid and would not rule out the possibility of cuts in public spending over the course of 2016.