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Chile's GDP remains stable in Q4 2020, shrinks 5.8% over year

Credit: REUTERS/IVAN ALVARADO

Chile's gross domestic product remained stable year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020, the central bank said on Thursday, as the economy showed signs of recovery after months of coronavirus-induced crisis.

Adds additional figures on domestic demand, mining, context

SANTIAGO, March 18 (Reuters) - Chile's gross domestic product CLGDPQ=ECI remained stable year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2020, the central bank said on Thursday, as the economy showed signs of recovery after months of coronavirus-induced crisis.

Fourth-quarter GDP shot up 6.8% versus the third quarter, the bank said in a report. A gradual lifting of restrictions on movement and commerce over the year, plus multiple stimulus packages, helped to top up output later in 2020, the bank said.

Including the quarterly result, the economy contracted by 5.8% overall in 2020, the bank said, as the service sector and construction fell off sharply amid the pandemic, alongside household consumption and investment.

Chile, the world's top copper producer, was hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak in mid-2020 but its critical mining industry continued to operate throughout the pandemic, helping maintain the country's economic output.

The bank said the mining sector grew 1.3% through 2020, boosted by output of iron and non-metallic minerals, while production of copper, Chile's top export, crept up 0.4%.

Domestic demand in the fourth quarter fell 1.4% versus the previous year, the bank added.

(Reporting by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Toby Chopra and Jan Harvey)

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

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