Chile flag Chile: Economic outline

Economic Outline

Economic Indicators

For the latest updates on the key economic responses from governments to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, please consult the IMF's policy tracking platform Policy Responses to COVID-19.

Chile is traditionally considered as a model in Latin America in terms of political and financial transparency. It has also been one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America over the last decade, enabling the country to significantly reduce poverty. However, the World Bank estimates that the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis could reverse years of growth in Chile’s middle-class, reducing its size by nearly two million individuals and pushing new middle-class households back into poverty. Still, even though the country's GDP grew in 2022, growth was slower than the previous year, reaching an estimated 2%, as tighter financial conditions, the withdrawal of pandemic-related support measures, and rising inflation dampened household consumption. In the coming years, the Chilean economy should fluctuate between growth and retraction,with the IMF forecasting a GDP contraction of 1% in 2023 and a growth 2% in 2024.

General government balance closed at -2.6% of GDP in 2022, following a large fiscal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Chile's current budget proposal targets a significant deficit reduction over the next couple of years, with general government balance projected to decrease to -2% in 2023 and -1.4% in 2024. The government's gross debt was estimated at 36.2% of GDP in 2022 and is likely to rise to 36.9% in 2023 and 37.8% in 2024. However, the government aims to stabilise debt over the medium term. According to IMF estimates, inflation reached 11.6% in 2022 and is expected to decrease to 8.7% in 2023 and 4.1% in 2024. Inflation should improve through fiscal austerity measures announced by the Treasury Department, particularly due to 1.6% of GDP in spending cuts over the next four years.  Despite recent efforts to diversify its economy, Chile remains vulnerable to international copper prices, international demand (particularly from China), climate and earthquake risks, inadequate R&D, vulnerable road network and energy grid, high energy prices and a poor educational system (Coface). The long-term outlook for copper prices, therefore, has far-reaching ripple effects for employment, wages, government revenue, and national income in Chile, so the major issue to be tackled by the government in order to revive economic growth is to reinforce commercial cooperation with new trade partners, particularly in Asia.

Chile's relatively high unemployment rate slightly decreased to 7.9% in 2022, influenced mainly by the construction, commerce, and transport sectors, which bounced back after the pandemic. However, the IMF expects the unemployment rate to slightly increase to 8.3% in 2023 and remain stable at 8.2% in 2024. The country has the highest GDP per capita in the region (USD 14,772; Coface), but also high levels of inequality and informality (OECD). Factors in wealth disparity include the current tax system that handicaps mostly lower and middle-income classes. Chile has notably invested heavily in renewable energy, which is expected to account for up to 20% of its energy generation by 2025.

Main Indicators 20222023 (E)2024 (E)2025 (E)2026 (E)
GDP (billions USD) 300.73344.40354.47372.49390.40
GDP (Constant Prices, Annual % Change) 2.4-
GDP per Capita (USD) 15,16617,25417,64718,43419,210
General Government Balance (in % of GDP) -1.9-3.4-2.3-1.8-1.2
General Government Gross Debt (in % of GDP) 38.038.441.242.442.6
Inflation Rate (%) n/a7.
Unemployment Rate (% of the Labour Force)
Current Account (billions USD) -27.10-12.00-12.91-13.03-12.73
Current Account (in % of GDP) -9.0-3.5-3.6-3.5-3.3

Source: IMF – World Economic Outlook Database, 2016

Note: (e) Estimated Data

Monetary Indicators 20162017201820192020
Chilean Peso (CLP) - Average Annual Exchange Rate For 1 ZAR 46.0248.7848.3848.8148.12

Source: World Bank, 2015


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Latest Update: November 2023