October 1, 2019 / 11:44 AM / 5 months ago

Chile economic activity growth up 3.7% as mining output surges

SANTIAGO, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Chile’s economic activity rose 3.7 percent in August from the same month a year ago, the central bank said on Tuesday, beating expectations and boosted by a surge in mining following several months of sluggish growth.

The IMACEC economic activity index encompasses about 90 percent of the economy tallied in gross domestic product figures.

Mining activity in August grew 5.3 percent compared with the same month in 2018, an improvement over past sluggish performance this year.

Chile, which produces nearly one-third the world’s copper, has suffered amid floundering prices for the red metal. Heavy rains in the country’s normally parched northern desert that is home to many of its mines, labor strife and a blistering drought in its central agricultural region have added to the pain.

Non-mining activity grew by 3.5 percent, the bank said, boosted by growth in the construction and service sectors.

Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Alison Williams

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