Chile’s economic activity rose 6.8% in January

The Chilean economy started the year off with a bang, with monthly activity outpacing expectations as the country recovers from the February 2010 earthquake and a 2009 recession.

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Economic activity in Chile for January 2011 grew 6.8 percent over the same month in 2010, according to a monthly economic index reported by the Central Bank.

The figure was above market expectations, which ranged between 5.5 and 6.5 per cent, according to the Bank, which attributed the growth “mainly to growth in business.”

The index surpassed the 6.0% increase expected by the market consensus, according to the median estimate of eleven analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

This year, the month of January had one working day more than last year, the bank noted, contributing in part to the increase.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted series recorded a growth of 1.3 percent from the previous month, while the cyclical trend series recorded an expansion of 5.7 percent.

The data in question refers to Chile’s Monthly Index of Economic Activity (Imacec), which brings together more than 90% of goods and services included in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Official projections expect Chilean economic growth to reach 6.0 percent in 2011, while last year the economy only grew 5.2 percent, according to recent estimates.

The Central Bank will announce the progress of Chile’s 2010 GDP this March 18.