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Economy & Business - February 2020

Economic Highlights

CHILE| Growing economic pessimism despite some positive indicators. A public opinion survey published by local pollster Cadem on 10 February shows that a majority of Chileans have a pessimistic outlook on the country’s economy. Of those surveyed, 43% believe the economic situation will worsen in the first half of 2020, up from 20% in August 2019. Just 13% believe it will improve, while 43% predict no change. The crisis of social discontent and inequalities are cited as the country’s principal economic problem by 43% of respondents, while 57% believe that unemployment will increase. This pessimistic outlook comes despite some better than expected economic indicators for the end of 2019. The latest monthly economic activity index (Imacec), published by the central bank (BCCh) on 3 February, shows that economic activity expanded 1.1% year-on-year in December 2019 and 3.5% compared with November 2019, following year-on-year contractions of 3.4% and 3.5% in the October and November 2019 Imacec, respectively. Unemployment figures, released by the national statistics institute (INE) on 31 January, show only a slight year-on-year increase in the rolling quarter to December 2019. The unemployment rate totalled 7% in October-December 2018, up from 6.7% over the same period in 2018.

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