Mon, 18 Jan 2021

SANTIAGO, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chile's economy contracted 1.2 percent in October compared to the same month of 2019, performing below the expectations of market analysts, who were expecting the first rebound since the onset of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Central Bank of Chile said on Tuesday.

The bank's preliminary figures show the economy of the South American country has declined for eight consecutive months due to the health crisis.

Finance Minister Ignacio Briones said economic sectors should "continue pedaling forward" because "the worst is already over."

However, recovery will require "investment, confidence and, above all, for activity to resume, and that depends on the pandemic, which has not ended," Briones told news website El Mercurio Online (Emol).

According to the central bank report, the seasonally adjusted figures show the economy shrank 0.5 percent in October compared to the previous month and 0.9 percent over 12 months.

The economic activities hardest hit by the pandemic were services and the production of goods, which dropped 4.9 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, mainly affecting the construction sector. In contrast, trade expanded 17 percent in October.

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