Chilean economy ends excellent year with healthy December growth

Chile’s monthly economic index, Imacec, indicated that the nation’s economy grew 5.7% between December 2009 and 2010.

Retail saw 19.9% growth in December.
Retail saw 19.9% growth in December.

The Chilean economy closed a booming 2010 with a 5.7 percent expansion in December, according to the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (Imacec) published by the country’s Central Bank on Feb. 7.

Retail sales for the final month of the year surged 19.9 percent compared to 2009, due to booming new and used car, home electronics and computer sales, said the National Statistics Institute (INE) in late January.

Supermarket sales, meanwhile, grew 9.5 percent on 2009. The increase was attributed to raised consumer expectations.

In addition to consumers, other sectors of the economy are adding to bustling activity, as the country rebuilds from the 2009 recession and the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked the nation in February last year.

Industrial output in December also grew 3.8 percent as the nation’s industries recover from the devastating earthquake, while industrial sales for the same month increased 5.4 percent.

The Imacec is considered a proxy for the country’s gross domestic product, because it encompasses 90 percent of the GDP’s components.