Chile President Sebastián Piñera called on Chileans to help the country “live in peace” ahead of an anticipated fresh outbreak of protests in March. On Sunday, the annual music festival in Viña del Mar saw police clash with hooded protesters outside the heavily fortified event. Cars were torched and a well-known hotel (Hotel O’Higgins) vandalised. A Cadem poll showed that 85% of business leaders felt Chile was moving in the “wrong direction”, and 99% believed March would bring further polarisation.
Chile's central bank will hold its interest rate at 1.75% for at least another year, a Reuters poll of 59 traders show, as policymakers are seen opting for long-term stimulus to ease the economic pain of months of unrest in 2019. Traders predict consumer prices to rise 0.20% in February but hold steady at the bank's target of 3.00% over 12 months. They also worry of a tumultuous month of protests in March.