Chile’s July Economic Growth Accelerates to 5.3% on Mining Boom

Chile’s economy expanded 5.3 percent in July from a year earlier, less than analysts forecast.

The Imacec index, a proxy for gross domestic product, was unchanged from June on a seasonally adjusted basis, the central bank said in a report posted on its website today. The median estimate of 17 economists polled by Bloomberg was for annual growth of 6 percent.

July’s increase was led by the mining industry, which expanded 14.2 percent, according to a report by the National Statistics Institute on Aug. 29. Manufacturing gained 4.7 percent over the same period, boosted by the two extra working days in July this year compared with the same month of 2012.

Chile’s central bank cut its economic growth forecast for this year yesterday to between 4 percent and 4.5 percent from 4 percent to 5 percent, citing weaker external conditions and a slowdown in the first half of the year. It also said that consumer demand remains robust.

Retail sales leaped 10.3 percent in July from a year earlier, compared to 7.7 percent the month before.

Consumer spending and investment in the mining industry sustained growth of 4.3 percent in the first half of the year, down from 5.6 percent last year.

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