Chile: Industrial Output Disappointing; Activity Indicators Robust

Industrial output stayed in negative territory in February; contracting 1.1% m/m (-0.5% m/m in January). On a yearly basis, industrial production decelerated sharply to 1.9% y/y (3.4% y/y 3MMA), surprising the consensus (4.5% y/y) and RGE (3.8% y/y) on the downside. Disappointing results in consumer (-1.9% y/y) and intermediate (3.4% y/y)—accounting for 97% of the index—pressed down.

Meanwhile, additional activity indicators continue to reflect a strong performance—with the exception of mining, which fell 4% y/y due to a copper contraction of 6.7% y/y. Electricity generation gained 2.1% y/y, as hydroelectric generation was affected by severe droughts. Construction licenses continued on a strong path with a 38% y/y increase led by housing projects, which accumulated over 50% of total permits. Finally, retail sales expanded 16.7% y/y, stronger than January’s 15.8% y/y, but fell slightly short of its 17.8% y/y 3MMA. Supermarket sales accelerated to 10.7% y/y from a 7.6% y/y 3MMA.

Activity Indicators (3MMA, y/y, forecast in red) 

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Source: INE and RGE