SANTIAGO, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Economic confidence among Chilean business executives weakened in the third quarter, and many believe the economy will not recover until 2018, a central bank survey showed on Wednesday.
Most respondents to the bank’s quarterly business perception poll said they were looking to control costs in order to maintain or improve results, and making new investments only where necessary.
“The majority do not forecast their businesses improving significantly in the immediate future, and many believe they will not see a significant rebound until 2018,” the report said.
Chile, the world’s top copper exporter, has seen growth slow following a drop-off in mining investment that has since affected the rest of the economy.
Pessimism was widespread across all regions of the country and all economic sectors except for real estate, the reported showed.
Some of those interviewed reported a rise in layoffs and said unemployment would worsen, although the jobless rate in Chile has stayed low throughout the slowdown.
The center-left government’s proposed labor reforms, which could give workers additional bargaining rights, were an additional source of uncertainty, as was the relatively volatile peso, the executives said.
The central bank survey was based on interviews with about 200 executives between Aug. 12 and Oct. 27. (Reporting by Felipe Iturrieta; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)