Chile stimulus could scale back in 2016 if growth hits target-finance minister
LONDON Oct 14 (Reuters) - Chile's stimulus programme, which aims to increase public spending by a tenth next year, could be scaled down from 2016 if economic growth hits targets above 4 percent, the finance minister said on Tuesday.
The spending plan, unveiled in September to counteract a slowing economy, should not be seen as a permanent measure, Finance Minister Alberto Arenas said.
"If our forecasts are right and and in the year 2016, growth is 4.3 percent, then the assumption behind this fiscal policy is there will be a withdrawal of fiscal policy from public investment in 2016," he told Reuters in an interview.
The spending plan was announced in Chile's 2015 budget by President Michelle Bachelet as her government seeks to boost investment in education and healthcare in order to counteract a slowing economy.
Growth in the copper-producing nation has slowed to four-year lows and is expected to be 2 percent in 2014. The government predicts 3.6 percent growth next year, due in part to the planned public spending surge, with the rate increasing to above 4 percent in 2016.
TV interview with Arenas: reut.rs/1s9wvJU
Arenas said Chile's public finances were currently on a sound footing, brushing off concerns that weak copper prices would put a strain on finances. Continuación...