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SANTIAGO, May 18 (Reuters) - Chile’s gross domestic product grew by 1.3 percent in the first quarter from the last quarter of 2015, the central bank said on Wednesday, boosted by rising exports.
The quarter-on-quarter figure was just ahead of a forecast of 1.2 percent from a Reuters poll of economists, and significantly higher than last quarter’s 0.1 percent reading. .
On an annual basis, first-quarter growth in the top copper exporter was 2.0 percent, compared with a predicted 1.8 percent.
“There was a general rise in activity, except for fishing, mining and restaurants and hotels,” the bank said.
Growth had been spurred by a net rise in exports, and, to a lesser extent, household spending, it said.
The country’s key mining sector contracted 1.9 percent in the quarter compared with a year ago, but increased from the last quarter, it said.
Cooling demand in key buyer China has led to a rout in the copper market and crimped investment in Chile at a time when ore grades were already falling, although the ramp-up of new mines is keeping output steady. (Reporting by Rosalba O‘Brien Editing by W Simon)