Chile Industrial Output Misses Forecasts; Retail Sales Soar

Chile’s industrial production increased a slower-than-estimated 0.5 percent in December from a year earlier while retail sales jumped 10.1 percent.

Industrial sales climbed 0.4 percent over the same period, while supermarket revenue increased 6.1 percent, the National Statistics Institute said in a report released today. The median estimate of eight economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for industrial output to grow 1.2 percent in December.

The European sovereign-debt crisis has cut demand for exports, while failing to damp inflation or retail sales. Overall growth in the Andean nation is slowing toward a level that is neutral for inflation, central bank board members said in their Jan. 12 policy meeting.

“This deceleration may deepen,” according to minutes from the meeting published on Jan. 27. “The transmission of the international situation to Chile’s economy was a factor to continue evaluating in coming months.”

Mining production increased 2.8 percent in December as output of copper, Chile’s biggest export, climbed 2.2 percent from a year ago to 509,407 metric tons, the institute said.

The peso weakened 0.8 percent to 488.25 per U.S. dollar at 9:15 a.m. Santiago time.

Chile’s economy will expand 3.75 percent to 4.75 percent this year after climbing an estimated 6.2 percent in 2011, the central bank said in forecasts published last month.

To contact the reporter on this story: Randall Woods in Santiago at rwoods13@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Sanders at psanders@bloomberg.net.

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