The big news in Chile this Monday is the report from the OECD noting that only Chile, Turkey and Germany have a lower unemployment rate today than they did in 2007 before the Global Financial Crisis. Chilean president Sebastien Piñera is understandably pleased with this and noted that this is just another sign backing his prediction that Chile will have a per capita GDP greater than Portugal by, at the very latest, 2020 (some are mooting 2014 as being possible).
Chile does, though, face some roadblocks familiar to Australia. Despite mining being the mainstay of the economy and the fastest growth sector, not enough students are enrolling in the technical courses necessary to qualify for work in these projects. This could create an upward pressure on specialist wage rates and increase costs.
There was also some quibbling in today’s El Mercurio that Chile’s inflation adjusted, exchange rate adjusted growth rate has only been about 3.3% over the last several years. Not bad, note the critics, but not quite the stratospheric levels that the cheerleaders are pointing to or that the IMF postulates.