UPDATE 1-Chile data paints mixed picture for economy

viernes 29 de abril de 2016 09:57 GYT

(Recasts, adds comments from President Bachelet, economist)

By Anthony Esposito

SANTIAGO, April 29 (Reuters) - Economic data published on Friday painted a mixed picture for Chile's economy, the world's No. 1 copper producer, as factory output and copper production jumped while retail sales remained soft and the national jobless rate rose.

"This is data that reflects the complexities faced by the economy and we have to address this," said President Michelle Bachelet. "The government has taken measures to promote investments, elevate our productivity ... We are all called to help out with this task," Bachelet added.

Manufacturing production rose 2.7 percent in March from a year earlier, its fastest pace in 16 months, on the back of the production of chemical, non-metallic and common metallic products, the government's INE statistics agency said on Friday.

The increase was higher than a Reuters poll forecast for a 1.1 percent increase.

The key mining sector produced 488,759 tonnes of copper in March, a 3 percent increase from the year before, due to a low base of comparison in March 2015.

"March activity data for Chile were a mixed bag but taken together with last month's strong figures, they suggest that GDP growth picked up to over 2.0 pct y/y in Q1," said Adam Collins, an economist at Capital Economics.

"Nonetheless, we don't expect the economy to accelerate much further this year."   Continuación...