SANTIAGO, Nov 9 (Reuters) - Consumer confidence in Chile rose slightly for a second straight month in October, amid a decrease in unemployment, a downward tick in stubbornly high inflation and a surprise jump in economic activity, a survey by Gfk Adimark showed on Monday.
The poll of 1,070 people, which was conducted in October, indicated the economic perception index sat at 35.2, up from 34.1 in September.
Despite the slight bump, consumer sentiment has been on an overall downward trend in Chile for two years, faced with sluggish growth, money in political scandals and unease among business leaders with parts of President Michelle Bachelet’s reform agenda. Sentiment has remained below the 50 level, which indicates that the number of people negative on the economy outweighs the positive, for 17 straight months.
During the July to September period, Chile’s unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent, beating market forecasts. Inflation in the 12 months leading to October cooled to within the central bank’s tolerance range, and the nation’s economic activity index in September also beat forecasts.
Still, the economy remains sluggish, prompting the government to cut its forecast for 2015 growth from 2.5 percent to 2.25 percent in early October.
Data in the month was “a mixed bag of signals, with lights and shadows,” Adimark said. (Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Bill Trott)