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Chile Economy Profile

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Economy - overview

Chile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade and a reputation for strong financial institutions and sound policy that have given it the strongest sovereign bond rating in South America. Exports of goods and services account for approximately one-third of GDP, with commodities making up some 60% of total exports. Copper is Chile’s top export and provides 20% of government revenue.

From 2003 through 2013, real growth averaged almost 5% per year, despite a slight contraction in 2009 that resulted from the global financial crisis. Growth slowed to an estimated 1.4% in 2017. A continued drop in copper prices prompted Chile to experience its third consecutive year of slow growth.

Chile deepened its longstanding commitment to trade liberalization with the signing of a free trade agreement with the US, effective 1 January 2004. Chile has 26 trade agreements covering 60 countries including agreements with the EU, Mercosur, China, India, South Korea, and Mexico. In May 2010, Chile signed the OECD Convention, becoming the first South American country to join the OECD. In October 2015, Chile signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which was finalized as the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and signed at a ceremony in Chile in March 2018.

The Chilean Government has generally followed a countercyclical fiscal policy, under which it accumulates surpluses in sovereign wealth funds during periods of high copper prices and economic growth, and generally allows deficit spending only during periods of low copper prices and growth. As of 31 October 2016, those sovereign wealth funds - kept mostly outside the country and separate from Central Bank reserves - amounted to more than $23.5 billion. Chile used these funds to finance fiscal stimulus packages during the 2009 economic downturn.

In 2014, then-President Michelle BACHELET introduced tax reforms aimed at delivering her campaign promise to fight inequality and to provide access to education and health care. The reforms are expected to generate additional tax revenues equal to 3% of Chile’s GDP, mostly by increasing corporate tax rates to OECD averages.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$452.1 billion (2017 est.)
$445.5 billion (2016 est.)
$439.9 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)
$277 billion (2017 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
1.03% (2019 est.)
4% (2018 est.)
1.41% (2017 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$24,600 (2017 est.)
$24,500 (2016 est.)
$24,400 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Gross national saving
20.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
20.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
21.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 62.3% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 14% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 21.5% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0.5% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 28.7% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -27% (2017 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 4.2% (2017 est.)
industry: 32.8% (2017 est.)
services: 63% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
14.4% (2013)
Labor force
7.249 million (2020 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 9.2%
industry: 23.7%
services: 67.1% (2013)
Unemployment rate
7.22% (2019 est.)
7.33% (2018 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 18.1%
male: 16.7%
female: 20.2% (2018 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 1.7%
highest 10%: 41.5% (2013 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index
50.5 (2013)
57.1 (2000)
Budget
revenues: 57.75 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 65.38 billion (2017 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
20.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-2.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Public debt
23.6% of GDP (2017 est.)
21% of GDP (2016 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
2.2% (2017 est.)
3.8% (2016 est.)
Central bank discount rate
3.35% (31 December 2015)
3% (31 December 2014)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
4.6% (31 December 2017 est.)
5.59% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$52.54 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$44.01 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$52.54 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$44.01 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$244.3 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$211.6 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$190.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$233.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$265.2 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Agriculture - products
grapes, apples, pears, onions, wheat, corn, oats, peaches, garlic, asparagus, beans; beef, poultry, wool; fish; timber
Industries
copper, lithium, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles
Industrial production growth rate
-0.4% (2017 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$10.933 billion (2019 est.)
-$10.601 billion (2018 est.)
Exports
$69.23 billion (2017 est.)
$60.6 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
copper, fruit, fish products, paper and pulp, chemicals, wine
Exports - partners
China 27.5%, US 14.5%, Japan 9.3%, South Korea 6.2%, Brazil 5% (2017)
Imports
$61.31 billion (2017 est.)
$55.29 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, electrical and telecommunications equipment, industrial machinery, vehicles, natural gas
Imports - partners
China 23.9%, US 18.1%, Brazil 8.6%, Argentina 4.5%, Germany 4% (2017)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$38.98 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$40.49 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Debt - external
$183.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$158.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home
$206.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$199.8 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad
$95.37 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$90.54 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
Chilean pesos (CLP) per US dollar -
653.9 (2017 est.)
676.94 (2016 est.)
676.94 (2015 est.)
658.93 (2014 est.)
570.37 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year

Source: CIA World Factbook
This page was last updated on Friday, November 27, 2020

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