Covid-19 hit the Chilean economy. And he did it drastically. According to the Monthly Economic Activity Indicator (Imacec) for the month of April, it fell by 14.1% compared to the same month of the previous year.
This is the first installment on the country’s economic situation, considering the effect of the pandemic in a full month, since the first case was confirmed and the implementation of the sanitary measures began. By March, the economy had fallen by 3.5%.
Because of this, the figure is worrying, as while a larger drop was expected, there was speculation that it would be close to 8.2%. The most pessimistic ventured between 10% and 13%. Only a few, as Credicorp Capital analysts calculated that the Imacec would contract in a number close to 14%.
The deseasonalized series decreased 8.7% from the previous month and 12.4% in twelve months.
The mining Imacec decreased by 0.1%, while the non-miner decreased by 15.5%. In this sense, the activities most affected were services and trade, and, to a lesser extent, construction and manufacturing.
In the services, the falls of education, transport, restaurants and hotels and business services were highlighted. In deseasonalized terms, and compared to the previous month, the mining Imacec grew 0.9% and the non-mining one fell 9.7%.
«Considering the challenges that the health crisis has imposed on basic data collection, the Central Bank of Chile has made additional efforts with its information providers to minimize the impact on the quality of statistics. However, it is important to note that the figures delivered at this time could be subject to greater revisions than historically recorded figures, which will be disseminated according to the schedule of publications and revisions of National Accounts available on the institutional website,» the Central Bank said through a statement.
The 14.1% that the Chilean economy contracted had not been seen in decades, even when the country was in the midst of an Asian crisis, in 1999, when in April of that year the economy fell by 4.8%.
«It’s the highest drop»
After the figures of the Imacec, the Minister of Finance, Ignacio Briones, revealed that «it is a very significant drop, it is the highest drop since records are held.»
«We don’t have a record of this magnitude since the Monthly Economic Activity Indicator is measured,» he added.
«I want to reinforce the President’s call for an agreement on the income of Chileans and economic revival,» the secretary of state added at a press point from La Moneda.
«This causes us to update our growth scenarios by 2020,» the minister said.