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Chile's economic activity down 12.4% in June amid pandemic, mining grows - central bank

Credit: REUTERS/RODRIGO GARRIDO

Chile's economic activity fell 12.4% in June from the same month a year ago, the central bank said on Monday, beating expectations of an even more severe contraction amid the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

By Dave Sherwood

SANTIAGO, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Chile's economic activity CLACTI=ECIfell 12.4% in June from the same month a year ago, the central bank said on Monday, beating expectations of an even more severe contraction amid the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.

The bank's IMACEC economic activity index encompasses about 90% of the economy tallied in gross domestic product figures.

Market-watchers polled by Reuters had expected a more severe contraction of 14.5%.

During much of June, Chile was posting over 5,000 new cases of coronavirus daily, forcing health officials to quarantine all of the capital Santiago, a city of more 6 million and the country´s economic engine.

The world´s top copper producer has thus far managed to shield its all-important mining industry from the brunt of the damage, the bank data showed, helping buoy overall economic activity.

Mining output grew 2.2% in June, even as non-mining activity plunged 14%, according to its figures.

The June statistic follows record-breaking drops in overall activity in both April and May.

(Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Nick Zieminski)

((dave.sherwood@thomsonreuters.com; +56 9 9138 1047, +56 2 2370 4224; Reuters Messaging: dave.sherwood.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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