Chile’s Price Decline in November ‘Welcome Event,’ Velasco Says

By Nathan Gill

     Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) — Chile’s Finance Minister Andres Velasco comments on the fall in consumer prices in November. Velasco spoke to reporters today at a conference in Santiago:
On consumer prices falling 0.1 percent in November from October:
     “It’s a welcome event that confirms the estimates both of the government and private analysts.”
On Chile’s ability to withstand outside economic shocks in the coming months:
     “An open and competitive economy like Chile’s has to live in this new environment. At the same time, we have the instruments to cushion these shocks.”
On the government’s economic stimulus plans:
     “Chile has the space and instruments to carry out a strong counter-cyclical policy. The 2009 infrastructure budget will grow 8.8 percent. The ministry of public works part, which includes bridges, roads, and highways, will grow more than 14 percent and the housing budget will grow 10 percent. In Chile, seven out of every 10 houses are built with government support. This is an important source of aggregated demand, vitality, and employment.”

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