Chile’s economy posts record growth in April, boosted by low basis for comparison

FILE PHOTO: Containers are pictured at the San Antonio port
FILE PHOTO: Containers are pictured at the San Antonio port, in Chile August 6, 2019. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido/File Photo

June 1, 2021

SANTIAGO(Reuters) -Chile’s economic activity soared a record 14.1% in April, the central bank said on Tuesday, boosted by a low basis for comparison versus the previous year and amid early signs of recovery from months of coronavirus-induced stagnation. The bank’s monthly IMACEC economic activity index encompasses about 90% of the economy tallied in gross domestic product figures.

Economic activity dropped 1.4% versus March, however, as much of the South American nation was locked down in April amid a fierce second wave of contagions that followed the southern hemisphere summer.

Commercial activity nonetheless soared 33.1% in April versus the previous year, while services jumped 16.3%. The production of goods rose 3.8%, mainly supported by manufacturing, the bank said.

“This result was explained, in part, by a greater adaptation of homes and companies to the health emergency associated with COVID-19,” the bank said.

In April last year, economic activity had plunged 13.8% year-on-year as the Chilean government moved early to stave off the fast-spreading virus.

Chile is the world’s top copper producer.

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Andrea Ricci)