Fall in mining production restrains Chile’s economic growth

SANTIAGO – A fall in mining and business services in the final quarter of 2016 put Chile’s economy in slump, according to the central bank.

Statistics show Chile’economy contracted by 0.4 percent in the final quarter of 2016.

Compared with a year earlier, fourth-quarter growth was 0.5 percent, taking the full-year 2016 growth to 1.6 percent.

Mining in Chile, the world’s top copper exporter, fell 2.9 percent in 2016, the bank said in a report, hit by company cutbacks linked to a fall in the global copper price, as well as local factors like declining ore grades and weather conditions.

Also the wine industry was affected due to poor harvest after unseasonably heavy rains.

A 1.8 percent fall in business services activity, which includes architecture and engineering, also weighed on growth, the bank said. Growth sectors in 2016 included fruit exports, personal services and retail, it said.