December 2010 sees 9.3% building boom across Chile

 The increase of 2.7 percent from November 2010 makes December the biggest month for new building since August 2008.

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The Chilean Chamber of Construction reports a 9.3 percent increase in construction during Dec. 2010, a 2.7 percent increase over the previous month. This burst of construction at the end of the calendar year marks the largest construction increase in Chile since August 2008.

Javier Hurtado, who directed the study, says that the increase over November’s construction rate comes largely due to the increase in commercial structures connected to the service sector rather than residential building. Nevertheless, Hurtado points to an increase in authorization for residential developments as a positive sign for continued expansion in the construction industry.

Four indicators were particularly important in the development of the report. Granting of building permits increased by 18.4 percent, employment within the construction sector by 15.9 percent, sales by suppliers by 9.8 percent and the activity of general contractors by 8.2 percent.

December’s growth in construction coincides with another strong month of overall economic growth. The Monthly Index of Economic Activity (Imacec) recorded an expansion of 5.7 percent spurred by increases in consumer spending and industrial output. Retail sails boomed 19.9 percent compared to December 2009 and supermarket sales by 9.5 percent.

The global economic recovery from 2009’s recession has seen Chile, and especially the dynamic capital of Santiago, surging back to economic success. Vigorous reconstruction efforts following 2010’s devastating earthquake and tsunami have also contributed to economic recovery and increases in construction.