UPDATE 1-Chile's economy grows at slowest pace in 4 years in first quarter
(Adds details from GDP report, graphic) SANTIAGO, May 19 (Reuters) - Chile's economy grew 2.6 percent in the first quarter compared with a year earlier, its slowest quarterly expansion since January to March 2010, as domestic demand contracted, the central bank said on Monday. In seasonally adjusted terms, gross domestic product expanded 0.7 percent in the first quarter versus the fourth quarter of 2013. Domestic demand, one of the main motors behind Chile's economy, slipped 0.3 percent as investment continued to decline. But consumption rose 4.4 percent in the quarter versus the same period a year ago despite lower spending by households, as government spending jumped, central bank data showed. Exports in the world's top copper producer expanded 5.4 percent, while imports declined 3.6 percent. The Chilean peso weakened 4.2 percent in the first quarter, making the country's exports more competitive. The current account deficit amounted to $795 million in the three-month period, the equivalent of 1.2 percent of GDP. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ For a GDP & exports chart see: link.reuters.com/cyj22t ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Andrea Ricci)
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