Chilean President Sebastián Piñera expects a more complex macroeconomic scenario this year, which could result in lower-than-expected growth, Diario Financiero reported.
In his second presidential address, Piñera said the economy will face more difficulties this year amid the weakening of global and regional economies and stagnation in neighboring countries such as Argentina and Brazil. Trade and technology-related tensions between the U.S. and China will also contribute to the challenges ahead.
Piñera said there were other factors contributing to a more subdued outlook for the year: the deterioration of the terms of trade, with rising oil prices and the declining value of copper, and a more complicated legislative process that hinders key reforms.
On the other hand, Piñera believes investment and productivity will continue to grow and macroeconomic balances will strengthen, with Chile leading growth in the region at a higher pace than most international peers.
The president said he expects the economy to grow between 3% and 3.5% this year. Oxford Economics earlier said Chile's GDP growth may not hit 3% and could fall to 2.8% or 2.9%.