Chile consumer confidence falls to five-year low

martes 9 de diciembre de 2014 11:32 GYT
 

SANTIAGO Dec 9 (Reuters) - Consumer confidence in Chile fell to a five-year low in November as a deep economic slowdown continued, a survey showed on Tuesday.

The monthly economic perception index ran by pollster Adimark fell to 41.1 in November, down from 43.1 in October. The index reading has been below the 50 level, which indicates the number of people negative on the economy outweighs the positive, since June.

It is the lowest reading since 2009, when the country was in recession.

That chimes with third-quarter economic growth, which at 0.8 percent was also the weakest performance since 2009.

The economy of the top copper exporter has been slowing over the last year amid a fall in mining activity, and has been hampered further by cooling consumption. At the same time, a weaker peso has driven up inflation as imports become more expensive.

Only 28 percent of consumers think it is a good time to buy big-ticket items, while 20 percent think it is a good time to buy a car, the survey showed. Sales of new cars have fallen sharply in Chile this year as import costs rise.

"At the start of this month of end-of-year festivities, this is bad news for shops, as it could herald a decidedly more austere Christmas," Adimark said.

Since the survey was conducted, however, data on economic growth and inflation have shown a moderate improvement that the government has said could be the start of a gradual recovery.

The survey polled 1,100 people via telephone interview between November 6 and December 3.

(Reporting by Felipe Iturrieta, Writing by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)