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Retail Sales in Chile Rise 5.1 Percent in October
Nov 30, 2005
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Retail sales in the Santiago, Chile metropolitan area, home to one third of Chileans, rose 5.1 percent in October compared with the same month last year, the National Chamber of Commerce said.

The figure was slightly less than year-to-date retail sales growth of 5.3 percent for the first 10 months of the year, the chamber said, attributing the drop in part to high oil prices.

The chamber said retail sales growth in October was driven mostly by electronics sales, which rose 11.1 percent from a year earlier. Also in October, sales of home appliances rose 6.8 percent.

Chile's economy is powering ahead on the back of soaring prices for copper, its top export, and healthy consumer spending.

But the chamber reiterated that retail sales could retreat slightly for the second half of the year. It forecast retail sales for the year would rise between 5.0 and 5.5 percent. Retail sales rose 5.5 percent in the first half of the year.

The chamber said weaker sales in the final months of the year were partly due to fuel prices, which, though down from recent highs, are up 24 percent in the January to October period. (Reuters)

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