UPDATE 1-Chile economic growth picks up speed in Q4

miércoles 18 de marzo de 2015 08:32 GYT
 

(Adds domestic demand, investment data, background)

SANTIAGO, March 18 (Reuters) - Chile's economy grew 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to the third quarter, picking up speed from prior three-month periods, the central bank said on Wednesday.

Overall growth in gross domestic product in 2014 was 1.9 percent, a five-year low, after expanding 1.8 percent in October to December versus a year earlier, it said.

The economy of the top copper producer has slowed sharply on the back of waning consumption and cooling investment, especially in the crucial mining sector.

But central bank president Rodrigo Vergara said last week that Chile's economy is showing signs of a moderate recovery and is on a "good footing to start a process of more intense growth."

The 0.9 percent reading for the last three months of 2014 beats the 0.4 percent rate at which the economy grew in the third quarter from the second.

Domestic demand contracted 0.6 percent last year after posting no growth in the fourth quarter, central bank data showed.

Gross fixed capital formation, a key measure of investment, fell 6.1 percent in 2014. It grew a slight 0.5 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a year ago, after contracting in the prior three quarters.

(Reporting by Santiago bureau; Writing by Anthony Esposito; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)