Chile Economy

March 15, 2010Chileby EconomyWatch Content


Chile is a country in South America, occupying a coastal strip between the Andes Mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The country borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, and Argentina to the east. The Pacific coastline of Chile is almost 3900 miles long. The Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernandez, Salas y Gomez, Desventuradas and Easter Island. Chile is only a little over 100 miles wide and enjoys a varied climate, ranging from the dry Atacama Desert in the north to a Mediterranean climate in the center and a temperate zone in the south. Chile has a population of more than 15 million, according to the 2002 census.


Chile has a strong economy, characterized by high volumes of foreign trade and a sound economic policy. Chile’s exports account for 40% of its GDP and have experienced growth of 4% since 1999. Chile has a free trade agreement with the US to liberalize its trade policies. Chile enjoys free trade agreements with the European Union, Mercosur, China, India, Mexico and South Korea. From 2003 to 2008, FDIs in Chile were worth $17 billion, which dropped to about $7 billion in 2009 due to the global economic crisis. The Chilean government had injected a $4 billion stimulus to counter the recession in 2009, the result of which was felt in Q4 2009, when the economy showed signs of a recovery.

Chilean Economic Profile: GDP and Labor


The following chart shows the GDP (PPP) of Chile during 2007-2009. (All data in US dollars.)


Chile's GDP





Chile’s GDP – official exchange rate was $150.4 billion, according to the 2009 estimates. The chart below shows Chile’s GDP-real growth rate during 2007-2009. (All data in percentages.)


Chile's Growth rate





The following chart shows Chile’s GDP – Per Capita during 2007-2009. (All data in US dollars.)


Chile’s GDP – Per Capita




The next chart shows Chile’s GDP – composition by sector, according to the 2008 estimates. (All data in percentages.)


Chile's GDP



Chile has a workforce of almost 7.5 million, according to the 2009 estimates. The unemployment rate jumped to 10% in 2009, from 7.75% in 2008. About 18.25% of the population lives below the poverty line. The following chart shows the breakup of Chile’s labor force by occupation.

Chile's Labor Force