Chile Annual GDP Growth Slows to Nearly 2-Year Low in Q2

The Chilean economy expanded 1.5 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2016, slowing from an upwardly revised 2.2 percent growth in the previous period but beating market expectations of a 1.1 percent gain. Yet, it is the lowest growth rate since the third quarter of 2014, due to a slowdown in private spending and a drag in inventories.

Private spending went up at a slower 1.7 percent (2.6 percent in Q1) while government consumption accelerated (7 percent from 4.4 percent in Q1). Gross fixed capital formation increased 2.7 percent, better than a 1.1 percent rise in Q1 due to investment in machinery and equipment (up 9.7 percent from 1 percent in Q1) while construction investment shrank 0.2 percent (+1.2 percent in Q1). In addition, inventories declined and weighed down on the growth for the third consecutive period. Exports grew at a faster 1.2 percent (0.9 percent in Q1), boosted by sales of manufacturing and agricultural products while mining shipments fell, mainly copper. Imports increased 0.6 percent, following a 3.2 percent drop in Q1. 

On the production side, growth was mainly boosted by personal services (up 6 percent compared to 4.7 percent in Q1), internal trade (up 5 percent compared to 4.1 percent in Q1), transportation (up 4.8 percent compared to 4.3 percent in Q1), financial services (4.1 percent, the same as in Q1) and public administration (up 4.1 percent compared to 3.7 percent in Q1), which offset falls in mining (-5.5 percent compared to -1.9 percent in Q1), manufacturing (-1 percent compared to -0.5 percent in Q1) and construction output (-0.1 percent compared to1.1 percent in Q1). 

Considering the first half of the year, the economy expanded 1.9 percent.

On a quarterly basis, the economy shrank 0.4 percent, the first contraction since 2010, dragged down mainly by a 6 percent decline in copper production as lower international prices keep hurting the sector.  Yet, copper accounts for around 15 percent of the country’s GDP and about two-thirds of it is exported. 

Chile Annual GDP Growth Slows to Nearly 2-Year Low in Q2

Joana Taborda |
8/18/2016 1:29:53 PM