Chile business sentiment worsens as economy sputters
SANTIAGO Aug 4 (Reuters) - Business performance in Chile stalled in the second quarter, with most companies downgrading their yearly outlooks as economic recovery has been slow to materialize, according to a survey published Tuesday by the central bank.
Most companies quizzed for the business sentiment survey said the second quarter had been bleaker than forecast. Exporters said the benefits of the depreciation of the Chilean peso had been outweighed by weaker currencies and falling dynamism in destination markets.
Investment, meanwhile, stayed stunted across the board. Slowing growth in China has had a knock-on effect on Latin America's commodities-dependent economies and last week the United Nations' regional arm for Latin America warned that declining investment could turn into a long-term problem if not addressed.
In Chile, most businesses said they were trying to control costs rather than raise prices as consumer demand in the country, the world's top copper exporter, remained weak.
Uncertainty about a plan by President Michelle Bachelet's center-left government to strengthen labor unions was also affecting confidence, the survey found. (Reporting by Antonio de la Jara, Writing by Gram Slattery, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien and Peter Galloway)
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