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Chile's economic outlook "quite favorable" despite unrest, says finance minister

Business2020-02-27

Chile's economic outlook is "quite favorable" despite months of political unrest in the country, Finance Minister Ignacio Briones said on Wednesday. "We should stress that we have a scenario of positive growth," Briones said in a meeting with foreign correspondents. "Even though we would like (to see) it (growth) to be much higher, we think it is a quite reasonable scenario given the scope of the crisis we have had," he said. The government has forecast a 1.3-percent growth for 2020, "relatively higher" than the central bank projection of 1 percent, noted Briones. That figure is "very much in line with the expectations of local and international analysts," so the government will maintain the growth forecast, he added. Briones recalled that prior to the outbreak of anti-government protests in mid-October, a 3.3-percent expansion in the gross domestic product (GDP) was forecast. "Today, we are lowering it by two points, which is a large downgrade," he said. Demonstrations first erupted against a hike in subway fares in capital Santiago, then spread across the country as Chileans expressed their discontent with the high cost of living, lack of public services and growing inequality. In response, the government has organized a plebiscite in April on whether or not to change the Constitution to better address the wealth gap in one of Latin America's leading economies.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

Chile's economic outlook is "quite favorable" despite months of political unrest in the country, Finance Minister Ignacio Briones said on Wednesday.

"We should stress that we have a scenario of positive growth," Briones said in a meeting with foreign correspondents.

"Even though we would like (to see) it (growth) to be much higher, we think it is a quite reasonable scenario given the scope of the crisis we have had," he said.

The government has forecast a 1.3-percent growth for 2020, "relatively higher" than the central bank projection of 1 percent, noted Briones.

That figure is "very much in line with the expectations of local and international analysts," so the government will maintain the growth forecast, he added.

Briones recalled that prior to the outbreak of anti-government protests in mid-October, a 3.3-percent expansion in the gross domestic product (GDP) was forecast.

"Today, we are lowering it by two points, which is a large downgrade," he said.

Demonstrations first erupted against a hike in subway fares in capital Santiago, then spread across the country as Chileans expressed their discontent with the high cost of living, lack of public services and growing inequality.

In response, the government has organized a plebiscite in April on whether or not to change the Constitution to better address the wealth gap in one of Latin America's leading economies.

(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

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