UPDATE 1-Chile December factory output beats expectations, up 3.1 pct

jueves 29 de enero de 2015 09:38 GYT

(Adds details throughout, comments from statistics agency)

SANTIAGO Jan 29 (Reuters) - Chilean manufacturing production rose 3.1 percent in December from a year earlier due to increased output of metals, chemicals, and food and beverages, government data showed on Thursday.

The increase exceeded forecasts in a Reuters poll for a 0.1 percent decrease.

However, for all of 2014 factory output accumulated a 0.9 percent decrease compared to the prior year, as the top copper exporter's economy slowed on the back of cooling investment and domestic consumption.

Retail sales, a barometer of consumption, gained 1.9 percent in December versus a year earlier and for the full year 2014 grew at a five-year low of 2.4 percent versus 2013.

"The deterioration of retail sales comes in a context of worsening consumer sentiment throughout the year," the INE statistics agency said, adding that though the labor market lost strength in 2014 it has recovered somewhat in recent months. (Reporting by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)