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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The pandemic hit the Chilean economy while it was recovering from the 2019 social unrest. The authorities’ swift and strong economic policy efforts and Chile’s very strong institutional frameworks helped buffer the economic and social consequences. The ongoing economic recovery continues to be supported by ample policy stimulus, a rapid vaccination process, well-anchored inflation expectations, a resilient export base, and continued market confidence.
Mrs. Esther Perez Ruiz
Chile’s small open economy with significant mismatch between the production and consumption baskets may be represented by three stylized sectors, a commodity sector, a non-commodity tradable sector, and a non-tradable sector. This paper estimates the effect of copper price shocks on mining, manufacturing, and construction—each embodying a sector type. The empirical findings are for positive spillovers from mining to the other two sectors. However, the estimated size of the spillovers seems modest, which raises the question of the potential for mining to be better integrated with the rest of the economy.
Mr. Fabio Comelli and Mrs. Esther Perez Ruiz
A strand of research documents Chile’s copper dependence hence significant exposure to terms of trade shocks. Copper prices’ sharp decline and forecast uncertainty since the end of the commodity super-cycle has rekindled the debate on Chile’s adjustment capacity to external shocks. Following Malz (2014), this paper builds a time-varying measure of copper price uncertainty using options contracts. VAR analysis shows that the investment response to an uncertainty shock of average magnitude in the sample is strong and persistent: the cumulative fall in investment from trend at a one-year horizon ranges 2–5.8 percentage points; and it takes between 1½ and 2 years for investment to return to its trend level. Empirical ranges depend on alternative definitions for investment, uncertainty, and options’ maturing time.
Patrick Blagrave and Marika Santoro
Using a multivariate filter, we estimate potential growth rates in Chile’s mining and non-mining sectors. Estimates for the mining sector incorporate information on copper prices, whereas estimates for non-mining reflect information on inflation and unemployment rates. To better understand the drivers of potential growth, we decompose estimates into capital, labor (adjusted for human-capital and hours worked), and total-factor productivity using a production-function. Our estimates of potential output in Chile suggest that an important part of the recent growth slowdown has been structural, with potential-output growth slowing to 2½ percent in recent years, although it plausibly could be higher in the medium-term.
Luc Eyraud
This paper estimates the effect of copper prices on Chile’s growth at various time horizons. We find that a price decline is likely to have a durable (although not permanent) effect on GDP growth: while the impact is the strongest in the first 3 years after the shock, the transition towards the new lower steady-state GDP level generally takes 5–10 years. From a production function perspective, the GDP growth slowdown is mainly driven by lower capital accumulation.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that the GDP growth of Chile has remained lackluster over the past year. The main force behind the economic slowdown in 2014 has been the sharp fall in private investment, mainly the consequence of the end of the mining boom, but also reflecting the uncertainty and adjustment costs associated with the structural reform agenda. The IMF staff expects growth to increase modestly to 2.5 percent in 2015, mainly thanks to strong fiscal support. Private domestic demand should strengthen somewhat in 2016, primarily as very simulative monetary conditions and a gradual recovery of business confidence sustain private investment.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines the effect of lower copper prices on Chile’s growth at various time horizons. This paper discusses the copper outlook and suggests that the fall in copper prices is likely to have a persistent (although not permanent) effect on GDP growth. It argues that copper prices are unlikely to return to historical highs in the near future. The paper also provides theoretical and empirical evidence supporting the view that long-term GDP growth will not be affected, but the transition toward a lower GDP level can take up to a decade.