According to the Directorate of Budgets (Dipres), in the first quarter of 2020, capital spending (public investment) plummeted by 12.4% in real terms compared to the first quarter of 2019, as a result of a real increase of 1.6% in spending on investment initiatives and a fall of 23.1% in capital transfers.
Chilean manufacturing output grew just 0.6% in March compared with the previous year, according to government data, as measures to combat the coronavirus began to weigh on the economy of the world's top copper producer. Copper production rose 4.2% in March versus the same month the previous year, to 498,083 tonnes.
The Santiago Stock Exchange posted a strong 14% rise in April. This is the best month for its main index, the IPSA, since May 2009, in the midst of the subprime crisis.
Commercial activity in Chile suffered a sharp drop in March. According to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the Trade Activity Index fell 9% in the third month of the year, which coincides with the arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic. As for the Industrial Production Index, the INE said that it rose 0.8% thanks to the boost of the mining and manufacturing sectors.
During the first quarter of 2020, unemployment in Chile reached 8.2%, its highest level in a decade, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE). The high level of unemployment is mainly due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, which added to the effect of the wave of social protests that have rocked the country since October.