Chilean govt highlights improved IMF projections

SANTIAGO: The Chilean government highlighted on Tuesday the economic projections announced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has estimated a contraction of 6 percent for the economy of the South American country in 2020.
“This number indicates a very important fall. However, it is an improvement compared to the previous projection,” Finance Minister Ignacio Briones stated.
In its “World Economic Outlook” report published on Tuesday, the IMF announced an improved forecast for the Chilean economy compared to June, when it projected a 7.5 percent drop.
The minister also said that Chilean analysts are predicting an economic recovery of around 5 percent growth for 2021, while the IMF has forecast 4.5 percent.
“We are living in difficult times, the challenge is great, it is enormous, at the global level and also at the level of our country,” he said.
Briones stated that “the main challenge is to recover our economy, recover employment, recover work. That is our priority and we believe it should be the national priority.”
The IMF projected that the world economy will contract 4.4 percent in 2020.
Meanwhile, Chile, which has seen 484,280 infections and 13,396 deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), on Tuesday reported a 9 percent decline in new cases of infection last week.
Health Minister Enrique Paris said that in the last 14 days, there has been a one-percent drop in new cases nationwide, though certain regions continue to struggle to contain their outbreaks, especially in southern Chile.
“The regions with the highest increase in new confirmed cases are La Araucania, Biobio, Los Lagos and Nuble, while Magallanes continues to maintain the highest current incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants,” Paris told reporters at a press conference.
Tests detected 1,392 new cases nationwide in the past 24 hours, 25 percent of which were detected via active case search, a government strategy to uncover COVID-19 infections through widespread testing, isolate them and track their close contacts.
In the same 24-hour period, 17 more patients died of the disease.
Furthermore, Chilean financial analysts are maintaining their forecast of a 5.5 percent drop in gross domestic product (GDP) for 2020, the Central Bank of Chile said on Tuesday.
According to the bank’s Economic Expectations Survey, analysts continue to expect the economy to recover with 4.5 percent growth in 2021 and 3 percent growth in 2022, as forecast in September’s survey.
Analysts projected a 7.1 percent decline in economic activity in September compared to the month before, less than the 11.3 percent drop registered in August.
Regarding the Monetary Policy Rate, the survey projected it will remain at 0.5 percent over the next 17 months, then rise to 0.75 percent.–Agencies