Chile's new president to inherit sluggish economy

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-3-6 10:17:46

Chile's president-elect Michelle Bachelet will inherit "a sluggish economy," Chile's incoming Finance Minister Alberto Arenas said Wednesday.

Bachelet, who led Chile from 2006 to 2010, is to be sworn in on March 11.

"The new government will inherit a sluggish economy from the current administration, an inheritance of low growth," Arenas told a press conference after a meeting of Bachelet's economic team.

At the meeting, officials reviewed the latest economic indicators released by the Central Bank of Chile.

The country's economy registered a 1.4-percent growth in January, lower than the 1.9 percent rate analysts had expected, Arenas said.

Despite the lackluster figure, the future finance chief expressed his optimism that the new administration can boost the economy.

His remarks were immediately refuted by the current conservative administration of President Sebastian Pinera.

"Economic forecasts are fundamentally based on what is going to happen rather than what has already happened," Pinera's Interior Minister Andres Chadwick said, claiming that economic indicators dipped due to the return of center-left power which made investors nervous.

"Chile's economy saw an average growth of 5.4 percent in the past four years despite adverse international conditions and damages caused by a devastating earthquake," Chadwick said, adding that "it is one of the highest growth rates among Latin American countries."

Current government officials have also claimed that the incoming government's plan to raise the price of utility services supplied to large companies has dampened investors' enthusiasm.

Last week, a financial market survey showed that analysts expect the economy to grow 3.8 percent in 2014.

Posted in: Americas

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