Chile's economy grows in November for first time since onset of pandemic

SANTIAGO, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Economic activity in Chile rose by 0.3 percent in November 2020 compared to the same month in 2019, marking the first increase since the novel coronavirus pandemic broke out here in March, the Central Bank of Chile said on Monday.

According to the bank's preliminary figures, the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (Imacec) increased 1.1 percent compared to the previous month, driven mainly by trade.

Trade registered an annual increase of 15.3 percent in November, partially offset by a 12-month fall in the services sector, which dipped 2.3 percent, and in the production of goods, which decreased 1.3 percent.

These drops were due to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, primarily the lockdown measures imposed to control the spread of the virus, said the bank.

The Minister of Finance, Ignacio Briones, said in a radio interview the figures showed the Chilean economy "is going from less to more, with an upward trend," in line with the government's 2020 fourth quarter projections.

The bank has forecast 5.5 to 6.5 percent growth in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2021, following a significant contraction in 2020 due to the pandemic.

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