November 8, 2019 / 11:15 AM / 7 days ago

Chile consumer prices up 0.8% in October amid protests

SANTIAGO, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Chilean consumer prices rose 0.8% in October, the government’s statistics agency said on Friday, slightly above market expectations, amid protests in the South American nation.

Weeks of sometimes violent riots, arson and looting in Santiago and elsewhere have led to at least 20 deaths and more than $1.5 billion in damage to businesses, according to authorities and rights groups.

Statistics agency INE did not mention the protests in a statement accompanying the release of inflation figures. The agency said prices for most goods and services it measured had risen in October, including housing and transportation.

Annual inflation was 2.5%, still hovering near the bottom of the central bank’s target range as the country’s dominant mining sector continues to lag.

Prior to the October protests, concerns over lagging inflation and a slow-moving economy in the world’s top copper producer prompted the bank to twice slash interest rates since June. (Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Alison Williams)

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