Chile’s industrial production increases during the first half of 2011

The improved figures are welcome news after 2010’s slow start due to the devastating February earthquake and a salmon virus that affected fishery exports.

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Chile’s manufacturing and production industries have bounced back from the negative repercussions of the February 2010 earthquake, recording improved figures in the first half of 2011.

Industrial production throughout the country increased by 4 percent in the month of June according to figures released by the National Institute of Statistics (INE).

The first half of the year saw a 9.7 percent overall increase in industrial production compared with the same period 12 months earlier.

According to the INE, the rise in production rates comes after a slow start to 2010 following the earthquake and a downturn in the fishing industry due to an outbreak of the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus.

The annual industrial sales rates were also positive, increasing 2.6 percent between June 2010 and June 2011.

The industries that recorded the highest growth rates were paper manufacturing, food and drink manufacturing, coke production and oil refining.

Overall mining production fell by 4.7 percent in June 2011 on the back of a decline in copper production due to bad weather and power outages.

But the results for non-metallic mining were strong, with production increasing 15.7 percent between June 2010 and June 2011. Increases also were recorded in the production of saltpeter, sodium chloride and lithium carbonate.

There was also good news for retail trade, with a 12.5 percent increase registered in June 2011. This increase was mainly due to improved figures for textile products, machinery and household goods, information technology products and new and used autos.

Based on these strong figures, overall trade growth accelerated 12.9 percent in the first half of 2011.

These results follow similarly strong economic forecasts for Chile earlier in the year.