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Chile's economy increases 1.5 percent in 2016

Staff Writer |
The Chilean economy only grew by 1.5 percent in 2016, the worst economic record in seven years, the Central Bank announced.

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In December, the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (Imacec) logged growth of 1.2 percent, the same as that in 2015, which was in line with expectations, according to the report.

However, this meant Imacec only registered 1.5 percent growth for all of 2016, as opposed to 2.3 percent in 2015. This was the worst performance since 2009, when the economy contracted by 1 percent.

In the fourth quarter, economic activity rose at just 0.5 percent, continuing a downward trend seen all year. Growth in the second and third quarters was just 1.6 percent after 2.3 percent in the first trimester.

The national economy was dragged down by the mining sector, which contracted by 2.8 percent and all other sectors combined grew at 1.9 percent, according to the report.

Imacec regroups the activity of about 90 percent of goods and services that comprise Chile's GDP. It is published each month by the Central Bank and calculated with a strong link to the results from the previous year.

Imacec is a strong reference for the government's official figures with the final GDP performance for 2016 set to be announced on Mar. 20.