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    Chile Economy 2000

      Economy - overview: Chile has a market-oriented economy characterized by a high level of foreign trade. During the early 1990s, Chile's reputation as a role model for economic reform was strengthened when the democratic government of Patricio AYLWIN - which took over from the military in 1990 - deepened the economic reform initiated by the military government. Growth in real GDP averaged 8% during the period 1991-1997, but fell to half that level in 1998 because of tight monetary policies implemented to keep the current account deficit in check and lower export earnings - the latter a product of the global financial crisis. A severe drought exacerbated the recession in 1999, reducing crop yields and causing hydroelectric shortfalls and rationing, and Chile experienced negative economic growth for the first time in more than 15 years. Despite the effects of the recession, Chile maintained its reputation for strong financial institutions and sound policy that have given it the strongest sovereign bond rating in South America. By the end of 1999, exports and economic activity had begun to recover, and a return to strong growth in 2000 is likely. The inauguration of Ricardo LAGOS in March 2000, succeeding Eduardo FREI, will keep the presidency in the hands of the center-left Concertacion coalition that has held office since the return of civilian rule in 1990.

      GDP: purchasing power parity - $185.1 billion (1999 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate: -1% (1999 est.)

      GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $12,400 (1999 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector:
      agriculture: 6%
      industry: 33%
      services: 61% (1999)

      Population below poverty line: 22% (1998 est.)

      Household income or consumption by percentage share:
      lowest 10%: 1.2%
      highest 10%: 41.3% (1998)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 3.4% (1999 est.)

      Labor force: 5.8 million (1999 est.)

      Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 14%, industry 27%, services 59% (1997 est.)

      Unemployment rate: 9% (1999)

      Budget:
      revenues: $17 billion
      expenditures: $17 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

      Industries: copper, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles

      Industrial production growth rate: -1.3% (1999 est.)

      Electricity - production: 37.49 billion kWh (1999)

      Electricity - production by source:
      fossil fuel: 50%
      hydro: 50%
      nuclear: 0%
      other: 0% (December 1999)

      Electricity - consumption: 26.665 billion kWh (1998)

      Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

      Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

      Agriculture - products: wheat, corn, grapes, beans, sugar beets, potatoes, fruit; beef, poultry, wool; fish; timber

      Exports: $15.6 billion (f.o.b., 1999)

      Exports - commodities: copper, fish, fruits, paper and pulp, chemicals

      Exports - partners: EU 27%, US 16%, Japan 14%, Brazil 6%, Argentina 5% (1998)

      Imports: $13.9 billion (c.i.f., 1999)

      Imports - commodities: consumer goods, chemicals, motor vehicles, fuels, electrical machinery, heavy industrial machinery, food

      Imports - partners: US 24%, EU 23%, Argentina 11%, Brazil 6%, Japan 6%, Mexico 5% (1998)

      Debt - external: $39 billion (1999)

      Economic aid - recipient: ODA, $50.3 million (1996 est.)

      Currency: 1 Chilean peso (Ch$) = 100 centavos

      Exchange rates: Chilean pesos (Ch$) per US$1 - 520.45 (January 2000), 508.78 (1999), 460.29 (1998), 419.30 (1997), 412.27 (1996), 396.77 (1995)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

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