Chile’s World-Beating Recovery Slows as Jobs, Retail Disappoint
(Bloomberg) -- Chile’s unemployment rate dropped less than expected, while retail sales growth also disappointed, even as the country continued easing Covid restrictions.
The jobless rate fell to 8.5% in the three months through August, above the 8.3% median estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, the National Statistics Institute reported Thursday. Retail sales rose 25.1%, compared with the 30% forecast, while industrial production and manufacturing also gained less than expected.
Chile has relaxed pandemic containment measures as the daily tally of new coronavirus cases declined, and now plans to end curfews starting Thursday, President Sebastian Pinera said in a televised speech Monday. Over 80% of the population has received two vaccine doses, according to Bloomberg’s Vaccine Tracker, and this week the government began vaccinating children ages 6 to 11.
Demand has also been spurred by cash transfers from the government and early pension fund withdrawals. This week the lower house approved a bill allowing a fourth round of pension drawdowns, which will now head to the Senate for a final vote.
- Retail sales gained 25.1%
- Industrial production up 4.2%, vs 5.9% est.
- Manufacturing gains 10.6%, vs 11.9% est.
- August copper production 466,928 tons, vs 489,500 the year earlier amid mine strikes
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