Chile’s Economy Bounces Back, Driven by Service Industries

Chile’s economy picked up at the start of the year, growing at the fastest pace since the end of 2021 amid an expansion in service industries, the central bank said, Bloomberg News reported. Gross domestic product grew 0.8% in the first quarter from the prior three months and fell 0.6% from a year before. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected 1% expansion quarter-on-quarter and a 0.9% contraction year-on-year. Fourth-quarter growth was revised to 0.2% quarter-on-quarter from 0.1%. Chile’s central bank and Finance Ministry have boosted their 2023 growth forecasts in the past month as activity responds more slowly than expected to tight monetary policy. Government officials have said the economy is set to gather steam from here on. “This was a good start to the year confirming that economic activity has been more resilient than initially expected,” Andres Abadia, chief Latin American economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said in a note. “Growth momentum likely will gather speed thanks to falling inflation, lower interest rates, and improving conditions for key exports.” Read more.