Chile sees largest quarterly growth in 5 years

SANTIAGO – The Chilean economy grew by 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2018, the largest quarterly growth since 2013, the central bank announced Friday.

According to the institution, most sectors of the economy saw growth, especially mining, which climbed by 19.3 percent year-on-year.

The central bank also highlighted the growth of trade and personal services, while the fishing and forestry sectors both contracted.

Boosted by mining and consumption, Chilean economy activity soars 4.6% in March

The central bank President Mario Marcel praised this robust economic growth and emphasized this was not a temporary trend.

Marcel said that “the economy is entering a phase of larger growth but this growth must always be considered in the medium-term.”

He added that “we have projected a growth range of between 3 and 4 percent for the whole of the year.”

Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera, who came to power in March, made the economic slowdown seen under the previous left-wing government one of his main campaign slogans.

Chile has seen a long period of economic slowdown since 2013, largely due to sustained low prices of copper, its main export.

For all of 2018, the the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have projected GDP growth of 3 percent in Chile although the local government has estimated it will reach 4 percent.