4 percent growth in Chile’s industrial production in January

Chemicals, fisheries and mines saw some of the largest growth over the last 12 months, as did increases in commercial sales.

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Increases in chemical production and industrial fisheries led the way for a four percent industrial growth in Chile in January compared to the same month last year according to data gathered by the National Institute of Statistics.

The increase in aquaculture, an industry with its centres in the regions damaged by last year’s earthquake, attests to the success of ongoing recovery efforts in the region. The National Institute of Statistics described the growth as “demonstrating important recuperation” for the industry. Similarly, the Institute noted that the overall industrial growth in Chile was as much a response to increased demand within national borders as to increased demand abroad.

The mining industry, the heart of the Chilean economy, also saw solid growth in January at 6.6 percent according to the Index of Mine Production. A large part of this growth came as a result of the massive increase in copper prices, rising 29.4 percent over 12 months to reach US$4.33 per pound. Copper production also grew in January by 5.4 percent.

The supply of electricity saw 4.4 percent growth in the last 12 months despite a 20.3 percent decrease in the volume of electricity coming out of hydroelectric plants in the south-central sector of the country. Decrease in hydroelectric supply was compensated for by increases in production form thermoelectric plants as well as an overall increase of demand around the country. Increased consumption of electricity, which rose 8 percent in the last year, indicates the overall dynamism of the economy, explained the Institute.

Commercial sales of textiles, domestic appliances, and new and used cars contributed to an impressive 15.8 percent increase in commercial sales.