IMF raises Chile growth projections for 2018 to 3 pct

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SANTIAGO, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday raised its 2018 growth projections for Chile to 3 percent, up from 2.5 percent last October.

In a new report on the region's economic recovery this year, the IMF said that "growth restarted in the second semester of the year (2017) and this impetus will continue in 2018 with a projected growth of 3 percent," said the report signed by the IMF's director for the Western Hemisphere, Alejandro Werner.

The IMF said in its report that the political uncertainty concerning Chile had disappeared after the general elections in December.

Sebastian Pinera, the president-elect who already ran the country in the past, will assume the presidency in March, with a program focused on economic development.

"The rise in copper prices and a greater level of confidence among companies - above all the resolution of the political uncertainty that surrounded last year's presidential elections - have been propping up growth" in Chile, the IMF said.

The global financial institution maintained its growth expectations for 2019, at 3.6 percent for Chile.

These numbers stand in sharp contrast to growth of recent years, with Chile growing 1.7 and 1.6 percent in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The IMF report also said that economic recovery is becoming consolidated across Latin America.

"Favored by the improvement in the global context, the economic recovery of Latin America is also gaining impetus, with recessions in some countries (Brazil, Argentina and Ecuador) coming to an end," it said.

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