It has been suggested that Inflation in Chile be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since December 2023.

Economy of Chile
The Santiago neighborhood nicknamed "Sanhattan"
CurrencyChilean peso (CLP)
calendar year
Trade organizations
WTO, CPTPP, APEC, OECD, Mercosur (associate), CAN (associate)
Country group
PopulationIncrease 19,250,195 (2022)[3]
  • Increase $334 billion (nominal, 2024)[4]
  • Increase $623 billion (PPP, 2024)[4]
GDP rank
GDP growth
  • Increase 2.4% (2022)[5]
  • Decrease -1.0% (2023f)[5]
  • Increase 1.9% (2024f)[5]
GDP per capita
  • Increase $16,616 (nominal, 2024)[4]
  • Increase $31,005 (PPP, 2024)[4]
GDP per capita rank
GDP by sector
3.045% (2020)[7]
Population below poverty line
Negative increase 10.8% (2020)[8]
44.4 medium (2017, World Bank)[9]
Labor force
  • Decrease 8,860,151 (2022)[11]
  • Decrease 50.78% employment rate (2020)[12]
Labor force by occupation
  • Positive decrease 7.2% (2022)[13]
  • Negative increase 6.9% (September 2019)[14]
  • Negative increase 18.9% youth unemployment rate (August 2019)[15]
Average gross salary
CLP 957,741 / $1,082 monthly[16] (2022)
CLP 890,699 / $1,006 monthly[17][18] (2022)
Main industries
copper, lithium, other minerals, foodstuffs, fish processing, iron and steel, wood and wood products, transport equipment, cement, textiles
ExportsIncrease $79.79 billion (2020)[19]
Export goods
  • copper: 53.6%
  • grapes and other produce: 8.4%
  • chemicals: 5.0%
  • fish and seafood: 4.5%
  • paper and pulp: 3.3%
  • wine: 2.4%
  • lumber: 2.2%
  • gold: 2.1%
  • (2014)[20]
Main export partners
ImportsDecrease $66.516 billion (2020)[21]
Import goods
Main import partners
FDI stock
  • Increase $206.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[6]
  • Increase Abroad: $95.37 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[6]
Increase 1.33% (of GDP) (2020)[22]
Negative increase $183.4 billion (31 December 2017 est.)[6]
Public finances
Negative increase 43.8% of GDP (2020)[23]
−2.8% (of GDP) (2020)[24]
Revenues57.75 billion (2017 est.)[6]
Expenses65.38 billion (2017 est.)[6]
  • AA- (Standard & Poor's)
  • Aa3 (Moody's)
  • A+ (Fitch Ratings)[25]
Decrease $39.166 billion (2020)[26]
Main data source: CIA World Fact Book
All values, unless otherwise stated, are in US dollars.

The economy of Chile is a market economy and high-income economy as ranked by the World Bank.[27] The country is considered one of South America's most prosperous nations,[28] leading the region in competitiveness, income per capita, globalization, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption.[29] Although Chile has high economic inequality, as measured by the Gini index,[30] it is close to the regional mean.[31] Among OECD nations, Chile has a highly efficient and strong social security system; social welfare expenditure stood at roughly 19.6% of GDP.[32][33][34]

In 2006, Chile became the country with the highest nominal GDP per capita in Latin America.[35] In May 2010 Chile became the first South American country to join the OECD.[36] Tax revenues, all together 20.2069% of GDP in 2013, were the second lowest among the 34 OECD countries, and the lowest in 2010.[37] Chile has an inequality-adjusted human development index of 0.704, compared to 0.747, 0.720 and 0.577 for neighboring Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, respectively.[10] In 2017, only 0.7% of the population lived on less than US$1.90 a day.[38]

The Global Competitiveness Report for 2009–2010 ranked Chile as being the 30th most competitive country in the world and the first in Latin America, well above Brazil (56th), Mexico (60th), and Argentina (85th); it has since fallen out of the top 30.[35] The ease of doing business index, created by the World Bank, listed Chile as 34th in the world as of 2014, 41st for 2015, and 48th as of 2016.[39] The privatized national pension system (AFP) has an estimated total domestic savings rate of approximately 21% of GDP.[40] Similarly, in 2023 Chile introduced a temporary basic income program in order to support the families due to economic slowdown in the country through transfer payments, trying to use an expansionary fiscal policy. [41]


Main article: Economic history of Chile

Change in per capita GDP of Chile, 1820–2018. Figures are inflation-adjusted to 2011 International dollars.

After Spanish arrival in the 15th century Chilean economy came to revolve around autarchy estates called fundos and around the army that was engaged in the Arauco War. During early colonial times there were gold exports to Peru from placer deposits which soon depleted. Trade restrictions and monopolies established by the Spanish crown are credited for having held back economic development for much of the colonial times. As effect of these restrictions the country incorporated very few new crops and animal breeds after initial conquest. Other sectors that were held back by restrictions were the wine and mining industries. The Bourbon reforms in the 18th century eased many monopolies and trade restrictions.

In the 1830s Chile consolidated under the ideas of Diego Portales as a stable state open to foreign trade. Foreign investment in Chile grew over the 19th century. After the War of the Pacific the Chilean treasury grew by 900%. The League of Nations labeled Chile the country hardest hit by the Great Depression because 80% of government revenue came from exports of copper and nitrates, which were in low demand. After the Great Depression Chilean economic policies changed toward import substitution industrialization and the Production Development Corporation was established.

Under the influence of the Chicago Boys the Pinochet regime made of Chile a leading country in establishing neoliberal policies. These policies allowed large corporations to consolidate their power over the Chilean economy, leading to long-term economic growth.[42] The crisis of 1982 caused the appointment of Hernán Büchi as minister of finance and a sharp revision of economic policy. Despite a general selling of state property and contrary to neoliberal prescriptions, the regime retained the lucrative state owned mining company Codelco which stands for about 30% of government income.

According to the CIA World Factbook, during the early 1990s, Chile's reputation as a role model for economic reform was strengthened when the democratic government of Patricio Aylwin, who took over from the military in 1990, deepened the economic reform initiated by the military government. The Aylwin government departed significantly from the neoliberal doctrine of the Chicago boys, as evidenced by higher government expenditure on social programs to tackle poverty and poor quality housing.[43] Growth in real GDP averaged 8% from 1991 to 1997,[citation needed] but fell to half that level in 1998 because of tight monetary policies (implemented to keep the current account deficit in check) and lower exports due to the Asian financial crisis. Chile's economy has since recovered and has seen growth rates of 5–7% over the past several years.[citation needed]

After a decade of impressive growth rates, Chile began to experience a moderate economic downturn in 1999, brought on by unfavorable global economic conditions related to the Asian financial crisis, which began in 1997. The economy remained sluggish until 2003, when it began to show clear signs of recovery, achieving 4.0% real GDP growth.[44] The Chilean economy finished 2004 with growth of 6.0%. Real GDP growth reached 5.7% in 2005 before falling back to 4.0% in 2006. GDP expanded by 5.1% in 2007.[45]


During 2012, the largest sectors by GDP were mining (mainly copper), business services, personal services, manufacturing and wholesale and retail trade. Mining also represented 59.5% of exports in the period, while the manufacturing sector accounted for 34% of exports, concentrated mainly in food products, chemicals and pulp, paper and others.[46]


Main article: Agriculture in Chile

Chile is one of the 5 largest world producers of cherry and cranberry, and one of the 10 largest world producers of grape, apple, kiwi, peach, plum and hazelnut, focusing on exporting high-value fruits.[47]

In 2018, Chile was the 9th largest producer of grapes in the world, with 2 million tons produced; the 10th largest producer of apples in the world, with 1.7 million tons produced; and the 6th largest producer of kiwi in the world, with 230 thousand tons produced, in addition to producing 1.4 million tons of wheat, 1.1 million tons of maize, 1.1 million tons of potatoes, 951 thousand tons of tomatoes, 571 thousand tons of oats, 368 thousand tons of onions, 319 thousand tons of peaches, 280 thousand tons of pears, 192 thousand tons of rice, 170 thousand tons of barley, 155 thousand tons of cherries, 151 thousand tons of lemons, 118 thousand tons of tangerines, 113 thousand tons of oranges, 110 thousand tons of olives, 106 thousand tons of cranberries, in addition to smaller productions of other agricultural products.[48]

Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging and fishing accounts only for 4.9% of the GDP as of 2007 and employed 13.6% of the country's labor force. Some major agriculture products of Chile includes grapes, apples, pears, onions, wheat, corn, oats, peaches, garlic, asparagus, beans, beef, poultry, wool, fish and timber.[49]

Chile's position in the Southern Hemisphere leads to an agricultural season cycle opposite to those of the principal consumer markets, primarily located in the Northern Hemisphere.[50] Chile's extreme north–south orientation produces seven different macro-regions distinguished by climate and geographical features, which allows the country itself to stagger harvests and results in extended harvesting seasons.[50] However, the mountainous landscape of Chile limits the extent and intensity of agriculture so that arable land corresponds only to 2.62% of the total territory.[49] Through Chile's trade agreements, its agricultural products have gained access to a market controlling 77% of the world's GDP and by approximately 2012, 74% of Chilean agribusiness exports will be duty-free.[50]

Chile's principal growing region and agricultural heartland is the Central Valley delimited by the Chilean Coast Range in the west, the Andes in the east Aconcagua River by the north and Bío-Bío River by the south. In the northern half of Chile cultivation is highly dependent on irrigation. South of the Central Valley cultivation is gradually replaced by aquaculture, silviculture, sheep and cattle farming.


Main article: Aquaculture in Chile

Chile is the second largest producer of salmon in the world.[50] As of August 2007, Chile's share of worldwide salmon industry sales was 38.2%, rising from just 10% in 1990.[50] The average growth rate of the industry for the 20 years between 1984 and 2004 was 42% per year.[50] The presence of large foreign firms in the salmon industry has brought what probably most contributes to Chile's burgeoning salmon production, technology.[50] Technology transfer has allowed Chile to build its global competitiveness and innovation and has led to the expansion of production as well as to an increase in average firm size in the industry.[50] In November 2018, the Chinese company Joyvio Group (Legend Holdings) bought the Chilean salmon producer Australis Seafoods for $880 million, thus gaining control over 30% of all Chilean salmon exports.[51][52]


Main article: Forestry in Chile

The Chilean forestry industry grew to comprise 13% of the country's total exports in 2005, making it one of the largest export sectors for Chile.[50] Radiata Pine and Eucalyptus comprise the vast majority of Chile's forestry exports.[50] Within the forestry sector, the largest contributor to total production is pulp, followed by wood-based panels and lumber.[50] Due to popular and increasing demands for Chile's forestry products, the government is currently focusing on increasing the already vast acreage of Chile's Pine and Eucalyptus plantations as well as opening new industrial plants.[50]


Main article: Chilean wine

Wines of Chile

Chile's unique geography and climate make it ideal for winegrowing and the country has made the top ten list of wine producers many times in the last few decades.

The popularity of Chilean wine has been attributed not just to the quantity produced but also to increasing levels of quality.[53] The combination of quantity and quality allows Chile to export excellent wines at reasonable prices to the international market.[54]


Main article: Mining in Chile

Chile produces more than a third of the world's copper.

The mining sector in Chile is one of the pillars of Chilean economy. The Chilean government strongly supports foreign investment in the sector and has modified its mining industry laws and regulations to create a favorable investing environment for foreigners. Thanks to a large amount of copper resources, complaisant legislation and an unregulated investment environment, Chile has become one of the main copper producers, with almost 30% of the global annual copper output.[50][55]

In addition to copper, Chile was, in 2019, the world's largest producer of iodine[56] and rhenium,[57] the second largest producer of lithium[58] and molybdenum,[59] the sixth largest producer of silver,[60] the seventh largest producer of salt,[61] the eighth largest producer of potash,[62] the thirteenth producer of sulfur[63] and the thirteenth producer of iron ore[64] in the world. The country also has considerable gold production: between 2006 and 2017, the country produced annual amounts ranging from 35.9 tonnes in 2017 to 51.3 tonnes in 2013.[65]


The service sector in Chile has grown fast and consistently in recent decades,[66] reinforced by the rapid development of communication and information technology, access to education and an increase in specialist skills and knowledge among the workforce.[67] Chilean foreign policy has recognized the importance of the tertiary sector or service sector to the economy, boosting its international liberalization and leading to the signing of several free trade area agreements. Chilean service exportation consists mainly of maritime and aeronautical services, tourism, retail (department stores, supermarkets, and shopping centers), engineering and construction services, informatics, health and education.[68]

Chile ranked first among Latin American countries (and No. 32 worldwide) in Adecco's 2019 Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI).[69]


Chile's financial sector has grown quickly in recent years, with a banking reform law approved in 1997 that broadened the scope of permissible foreign activity for Chilean banks. The Chilean Government implemented a further liberalization of capital markets in 2001, and there is further pending legislation proposing further liberalization. Over the last ten years, people who live in Chile have enjoyed the introduction of new financial tools such as home equity loans, currency futures and options, factoring, leasing, and debit cards. The introduction of these new products has also been accompanied by an increased use of traditional instruments such as loans and credit cards. Chile's private pension system, with assets worth roughly $70 billion at the end of 2006, has been an important source of investment capital for the capital market. However, by 2009, it has been reported that $21 billion had been lost from the pension system to the global financial crisis.[70]


Elqui Valley, wine and pisco region

Main article: Tourism in Chile

Tourism in Chile has experienced sustained growth over the last decades. Chile received about 2.25 million foreign visitors in 2006,[71] up to 2.50 million in 2007[72] The percentages of foreign tourists arrivals by land, air and sea were, respectively, 55.3%, 40.5% and 4.2% for that year.[71] The two main gateways for international tourists visiting Chile are Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport and Paso Los Libertadores.

Chile has a great diversity of natural landscapes, from the Mars-like landscapes of the hyperarid Atacama Desert to the glacier-fed fjords of the Chilean Patagonia, passing by the winelands backdropped by the Andes of the Central Valley and the old-growth forests of the Lakes District. Easter Island and Juan Fernández Archipelago, including Robinson Crusoe Island, are also major attractions.

Many of the most visited attractions in Chile are protected areas. The extensive Chilean protected areas system includes 32 protected parks, 48 natural reserves and 15 natural monuments.[71]

Economic policies

Chilean (blue) and average Latin American (orange) GDP per capita (1980–2017).

According to the CIA World Factbook, Chile's "sound economic policies", maintained consistently since the 1980s, "have contributed to steady economic growth in Chile and have more than halved poverty rates."[45][49] The 1973–90 military government sold many state-owned companies, and the three democratic governments since 1990 have implemented export promotion policies[73][74] and continued privatization, though at a slower pace. The government's role in the economy is mostly limited to regulation, although the state continues to operate copper giant Codelco and a few other enterprises such as BancoEstado.

Under the compulsory private pension system, most formal sector employees pay 10% of their salaries into privately managed funds.[45]

As of 2006, Chile invested 0.6% of its annual GDP in research and development (R&D). Even then, two-thirds of that was government spending. Beyond its general economic and political stability, the government has also encouraged the use of Chile as an "investment platform" for multinational corporations planning to operate in the region.[specify] Chile's approach to foreign direct investment is codified in the country's Foreign Investment Law, which gives foreign investors the same treatment as Chileans. Registration is reported to be simple and transparent, and foreign investors are guaranteed access to the official foreign exchange market to repatriate their profits and capital.[45]

Faced with the financial crisis of 2007–2008, the government announced a $4 billion economic stimulus plan to spur employment and growth, and despite the global financial crisis, aimed for an expansion of between 2 percent and 3 percent of GDP for 2009. Nonetheless, economic analysts disagreed with government estimates and predicted economic growth at a median of 1.5 percent.[75] According to the CIA World FactBook, the GDP contracted an estimated −1.7% in 2009.[76]

The Chilean Government has formed a Council on Innovation and Competition, which is tasked with identifying new sectors and industries to promote. It is hoped that this, combined with some tax reforms to encourage domestic and foreign investment in research and development, will bring in additional FDI to new parts of the economy.[45]

According to The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom in 2012, Chile has the strongest private property rights in Latin America, scoring 90 on a scale of 100.

Chile's AA− S&P credit rating is the highest in Latin America, while Fitch Ratings places the country one step below, in A+.[77]

There are three main ways for Chilean firms to raise funds abroad: bank loans, issuance of bonds, and the selling of stocks on U.S. markets through American Depository Receipts (ADRs). Nearly all of the funds raised through these means go to finance domestic Chilean investment. In 2006, the Government of Chile ran a surplus of $11.3 billion, equal to almost 8% of GDP. The Government of Chile continues to pay down its foreign debt, with public debt only 3.9% of GDP at the end of 2006.[45]

Fiscal policy

One of Chile's fiscal policy central features has been its counter-cyclical nature. This has been facilitated by the voluntary application since 2001 of a structural balance policy based on the commitment to an announced goal of a medium-term structural balance as a percentage of GDP. The structural balance nets out the effect of the economic cycle (including copper price volatility) on fiscal revenues and constrains expenditures to a correspondingly consistent level. In practice, this means that expenditures rise when activity is low and decrease in booms[78] The target was of 1% of GDP between 2001 and 2007, it was reduced to 0.5% in 2008 and then to 0% in 2009 in the wake of the global financial crisis.[79] In 2005, key elements of this voluntary policy were incorporated into legislation through the Fiscal Responsibility Law (Law 20,128).[78]

The Fiscal Responsibility Law also allowed for the creation of two sovereign wealth funds: the Pension Reserve Fund (PRF), to face increased expected old-age benefits liabilities, and the Economic and Social Stabilization Fund (ESSF), to stabilize fiscal spending by providing funds to finance fiscal deficits and debt amortization.[78][80] By the end of 2012, they had respective market values of US$5.883 million and US$14.998 million.[81]

The main taxes in Chile in terms of revenue collection are the value added tax (45.8% of total revenues in 2012) and the income tax (41.8% of total revenues in 2012).[82] The value added tax is levied on sales of goods and services (including imports) at a rate of 19%, with a few exemptions. The income tax revenue comprises different taxes. While there is a corporate income tax of 20% over profits from companies (called First Category Tax), the system is ultimately designed to tax individuals. Therefore, corporate income taxes paid constitute a credit towards two personal income taxes: the Global Complementary Tax (in the case of residents) or the Additional Tax (in the case of non-residents). The Global Complementary Tax is payable by those that have different sources of income, while those receiving income solely from dependent work are subject to the Second Category Tax. Both taxes are equally progressive in statutory terms, with a top marginal rate of 40%. Income arising from corporate activity under the Global Complementary Tax only becomes payable when effectively distributed to the individual. There are also special sales taxes on alcohol and luxury goods, as well as specific taxes on tobacco and fuel. Other taxes include the inheritance tax and custom duties.[83]

In 2012, general government expenditure reached 21.5% of GDP, while revenues were equivalent to 22% of GDP.[84] Gross financial debt amounted to 12.2% of GDP, while in net terms it was −6.9% of GDP, both well below OECD averages.[84]

Monetary policy

Chile's monetary authority is the Central Bank of Chile (CBoC). The CBoC pursues an inflation target of 3%, with a tolerance range of 1% (below or above).[85] Inflation has followed a relatively stable trajectory since the year 2000, remaining under 10%, despite the temporary surge of some inflationary pressures in the year 2008. The Chilean peso's rapid appreciation against the U.S. dollar in recent years has helped dampen inflation. Most wage settlements and loans are indexed, reducing inflation's volatility.

The CBoC is granted autonomous status by Chile's National Constitution, providing credibility and stability beyond the political cycle.[85][86] According to the Basic Constitutional Act of the Central Bank of Chile (Law 18,840), its main objectives are to safeguard "the stability of the currency and the normal functioning of internal and external payments".[87] To meet these objectives, the CBoC is enabled to use monetary and foreign exchange policy instruments, along with some discretion on financial regulation. In practice, the CBoC monetary policy is guided by an inflation targeting regime, while the foreign exchange policy is led by a floating exchange rate and, although unusual, the bank reserves the right to intervene in the foreign exchange markets.[85]

Trade policy

Chile is strongly committed to free trade and has welcomed large amounts of foreign investment. Chile has signed free trade agreements (FTAs) with a network of countries, including an FTA with the United States that was signed in 2003 and implemented in January 2004.[88]

Chile unilaterally lowered its across-the-board import tariff for all countries with which it does not have a trade agreement to 6% in 2003. Higher effective tariffs are charged only on imports of wheat, wheat flour, and sugar as a result of a system of import price bands. The price bands were ruled inconsistent with Chile's World Trade Organization (WTO) obligations in 2002, and the government has introduced legislation to modify them. Under the terms of the U.S.–Chile FTA, the price bands will be completely phased out for U.S. imports of wheat, wheat flour, and sugar within 12 years.[45]

Chile is a strong proponent of pressing ahead on negotiations for a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) and is active in the WTO's Doha round of negotiations, principally through its membership in the G-20 and Cairns Group.[45]

Most imports are not subject to the full statutory tariff, due to the extensive preferences negotiated outside the multilateral system through Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs). By the last version of the World Trade Organization's Trade Policy Review (October 2009), Chile had signed 21 RTAs with 57 countries and the number has continued to rise in recent years[89]

More recently, Chile has also been an active participant of deeper plurilateral trade agreement negotiations. Notably, Chile is currently in talks with eleven other economies in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposed agreement that would stem from the existing P-4 Agreement between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. Chile has signed some form of bilateral or plurilateral agreement with each of the parties at TPP, although with different degrees of integration.[90]

Chile is also a party in conversations to establish the Pacific Alliance along with Peru, Mexico and Colombia.[91]

Foreign trade

Chile is the world's fifth largest exporter of wine and the eighth largest producer.[92]

2006 was a record year for Chilean trade. Total trade registered a 31% increase over 2005. During 2006, exports of goods and services totaled US$58 billion, an increase of 41%. This figure was somewhat distorted by the skyrocketing price of copper. In 2006, copper exports reached a historical high of US$33.3 billion. Imports totaled US$35 billion, an increase of 17% compared to the previous year. Chile thus recorded a positive trade balance of US$2.3 billion in 2006.[45]

The main destinations for Chilean exports were the Americas (US$39 billion), Asia (US$27.8 billion) and Europe (US$22.2 billion). Seen as shares of Chile's export markets, 42% of exports went to the Americas, 30% to Asia and 24% to Europe. Within Chile's diversified network of trade relationships, its most important partner remained the United States. Total trade with the U.S. was US$14.8 billion in 2006. Since the U.S.–Chile Free Trade Agreement went into effect on 1 January 2004, U.S.–Chilean trade has increased by 154%. Internal Government of Chile figures show that even when factoring out inflation and the recent high price of copper, bilateral trade between the U.S. and Chile has grown over 60% since then.[45]

Total trade with Europe also grew in 2006, expanding by 42%. The Netherlands and Italy were Chile's main European trading partners. Total trade with Asia also grew significantly at nearly 31%. Trade with Korea and Japan grew significantly, but China remained Chile's most important trading partner in Asia. Chile's total trade with China reached U.S. $8.8 billion in 2006, representing nearly 66% of the value of its trade relationship with Asia.[45]=

The growth of exports in 2006 was mainly caused by a strong increase in sales to the United States, the Netherlands, and Japan. These three markets alone accounted for an additional US$5.5 billion worth of Chilean exports. Chilean exports to the United States totaled US$9.3 billion, representing a 37.7% increase compared to 2005 (US$6.7 billion). Exports to the European Union were US$15.4 billion, a 63.7% increase compared to 2005 (US$9.4 billion). Exports to Asia increased from US$15.2 billion in 2005 to US$19.7 billion in 2006, a 29.9% increase.[45]

During 2006, Chile imported US$26 billion from the Americas, representing 54% of total imports, followed by Asia at 22%, and Europe at 16%. Mercosur members were the main suppliers of imports to Chile at US$9.1 billion, followed by the United States with US$5.5 billion and the European Union with US$5.2 billion. From Asia, China was the most important exporter to Chile, with goods valued at US$3.6 billion. Year-on-year growth in imports was especially strong from a number of countries – Ecuador (123.9%), Thailand (72.1%), Korea (52.6%), and China (36.9%).[45]

Chile's overall trade profile has traditionally been dependent upon copper exports. The state-owned firm CODELCO is the world's largest copper-producing company, with recorded copper reserves of 200 years. Chile has made an effort to expand nontraditional exports. The most important non-mineral exports are forestry and wood products, fresh fruit and processed food, fishmeal and seafood, and wine.[45]

Trade agreements

Nations that have an FTA with Chile appear in dark blue, those that have not ratified a negotiated FTA in light blue, and those in FTA negotiations in purple. Chile is in red.

Over the last several years, Chile has signed FTAs with the European Union, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, China, and Japan. It reached a partial trade agreement with India in 2005 and began negotiations for a full-fledged FTA with India in 2006. Chile conducted trade negotiations in 2007 with Australia, Malaysia, and Thailand, as well as with China to expand an existing agreement beyond just trade in goods. Chile concluded FTA negotiations with Australia and an expanded agreement with China in 2008. The members of the P4 (Chile, Singapore, New Zealand, and Brunei) also plan to conclude a chapter on finance and investment in 2008.[45]

Successive Chilean governments have actively pursued trade-liberalizing agreements. During the 1990s, Chile signed free trade agreements (FTA) with Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Chile also concluded preferential trade agreements with Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. An association agreement with Mercosur-Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay-went into effect in October 1996. Continuing its export-oriented development strategy, Chile completed landmark free trade agreements in 2002 with the European Union and South Korea. Chile, as a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization, is seeking to boost commercial ties to Asian markets. To that end, it has signed trade agreements in recent years with New Zealand, Singapore, Brunei, India, China, and most recently Japan. In 2007, Chile held trade negotiations with Australia, Thailand, Malaysia, and China. In 2008, Chile hopes to conclude an FTA with Australia, and finalize an expanded agreement (covering trade in services and investment) with China. The P4 (Chile, Singapore, New Zealand, and Brunei) also plan to expand ties through adding a finance and investment chapter to the existing P4 agreement. Chile's trade talks with Malaysia and Thailand are also scheduled to continue in 2008.[45]

After two years of negotiations, the United States and Chile signed an agreement in June 2003 that will lead to completely duty-free bilateral trade within 12 years. The U.S.-Chile FTA entered into force 1 January 2004, following approval by the U.S. and Chilean congresses. The FTA has greatly expanded U.S.-Chilean trade ties, with total bilateral trade jumping by 154% during the FTA's first three years.[45] On 1 January 2014, Chile-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement officially took effect.[93]


Unemployment hovered at 8–10% after the start of the economic slowdown in 1999, above the 7% average for the 1990s. Unemployment finally dipped to 7.8% in 2006, and continued to fall in 2007, averaging 6.8% monthly (up to August).[94] Wages have risen faster than inflation as a result of higher productivity, boosting national living standards. The percentage of Chileans with household incomes below the poverty line – defined as twice the cost of satisfying a person's minimal nutritional needs – fell from 45.1% in 1987 to 11.7% in 2015, according to government polls.[95] Critics in Chile, however, argue that poverty figures are considerably higher than those officially published; until 2016, the government defined the poverty line based on an outdated 1987 household consumption poll, instead of more recent polls from 1997 or 2007. According to critics who use data from the 1997 poll, the poverty rate goes up to 29%; a study published in 2017 claims that it reaches 26%.[96] Using the relative yardstick favoured in many European countries, 27% of Chileans would be poor, according to Juan Carlos Feres of the ECLAC.[97][98] Starting in 2016, a new Multidimensional Poverty Index is also used, which reached 20.9% using 2015 data.[95]

The percent of total income earned by the richest 20% of the Chilean population in 2000 was 61.0% of GDP, while the percent of total income earned by the poorest 20% of the Chilean population was 3.3% of GDP.[99] Chile's Gini Coefficient in 2003 (53.8) has slightly changed in comparison with the value in 1995 (56.4). In 2005 the 10% poorest among the Chileans received 1.2% of GNP (2000 = 1.4%), while the 10% richest received 47% of GNP (2000 = 46%).[100]

Regarding the census, assessments have exhibited mixed results. An initial evaluation by a domestic independent experts panel released in August 2013 placed the omission rate in 9.3%, three times as much as other census in the region, and recommended annulling the census to hold a new version in 2015.[101] The government sought an assessment by international experts before making a final decision.[84] The team, which included three experts that represented the World Bank and the E.U. Statistics Commission, found "no basis for doubting the usability of the census data for most, if perhaps not all, of the customary uses" and recommended its release subject to the elimination of the imputation of housing units not observed on thBy 2021, the combined wealth of Chile's billionaires represented 16.1% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP

Historians generally explain the origin of the social gap by tracing it back to colonial times, when most land was divided between Spaniards and their descendants. This gave rise to the hacienda, in which society was divided between owners, employees, tenants and workers. Since this agrarian inequality, the concentration of wealth has spread to other economic sectors that exploit natural resources, such as mining. In more recent history, social inequality deepened in the 1970s and 1980s under Augusto Pinochet's regime, with the privatization of public enterprises in favor of large family fortunes, the repression of trade unions and the rejection of the welfare state. As social mobility is very low in Chile, social status is passed down from generation to generation.e ground during the enumeration and the concurrent publication of a methodological and administrative report.[102][103]

Social inequalities

By 2021, the combined wealth of Chile's billionaires represented 16.1% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).[104]

Historians generally explain the origin of the social gap by tracing it back to colonial times, when most land was divided between Spaniards and their descendants. This gave rise to the hacienda, in which society was divided between owners, employees, tenants and workers. Since this agrarian inequality, the concentration of wealth has spread to other economic sectors that exploit natural resources, such as mining. In more recent history, social inequality deepened in the 1970s and 1980s under Augusto Pinochet's regime, with the privatization of public enterprises in favor of large family fortunes, the repression of trade unions and the rejection of the welfare state. As social mobility is very low in Chile, social status is often passed down from generation to generation.[104]


Main economic indicators

The following table shows the main economic indicators in 1980–2021 (with IMF staff estimates in 2024–2029). Inflation below 5% is in green.[105]

Year GDP

(in Bil. US$PPP)

GDP per capita

(in US$ PPP)


(in Bil. US$nominal)

GDP per capita

(in US$ nominal)

GDP growth


Inflation rate

(in Percent)


(in Percent)

Government debt

(in % of GDP)

1980 38.1 3,411.9 29.0 2,597.5 Increase7.9% Negative increase35.1% 11.5% n/a
1981 Increase44.3 Increase3,901.8 Increase34.4 Increase3,025.3 Increase6.2% Negative increase19.7% Positive decrease10.3% n/a
1982 Decrease40.7 Decrease3,522.4 Decrease25.6 Decrease2,219.4 Decrease-13.6% Negative increase9.9% Negative increase19.8% n/a
1983 Increase41.1 Decrease3,501.5 Decrease20.8 Decrease1,774.3 Decrease-2.8% Negative increase27.3% Negative increase21.0% n/a
1984 Increase45.1 Increase3,781.6 Decrease20.2 Decrease1,698.6 Increase5.9% Negative increase19.9% Positive decrease17.5% n/a
1985 Increase47.4 Increase3,917.0 Decrease17.4 Decrease1,434.1 Increase2.0% Negative increase30.7% Positive decrease15.0% n/a
1986 Increase51.1 Increase4,145.7 Increase18.7 Increase1,514.7 Increase5.6% Negative increase19.5% Positive decrease12.3% n/a
1987 Increase55.8 Increase4,450.0 Increase22.0 Increase1,755.8 Increase6.6% Negative increase19.9% Positive decrease11.0% n/a
1988 Increase61.9 Increase4,859.2 Increase25.9 Increase2,034.9 Increase7.3% Negative increase14.7% Positive decrease9.9% n/a
1989 Increase71.2 Increase5,492.5 Increase29.9 Increase2,305.1 Increase10.6% Negative increase17.0% Positive decrease8.0% n/a
1990 Increase76.6 Increase5,810.7 Increase33.2 Increase2,521.0 Increase3.7% Negative increase26.0% Positive decrease7.8% n/a
1991 Increase85.3 Increase6,356.6 Increase38.2 Increase2,849.1 Increase7.8% Negative increase21.8% Negative increase8.2% Positive decrease37.1%
1992 Increase97.0 Increase7,059.6 Increase46.6 Increase3,391.3 Increase11.1% Negative increase15.5% Positive decrease6.7% Positive decrease30.5%
1993 Increase105.9 Increase7,589.3 Increase49.8 Increase3,571.3 Increase6.7% Negative increase12.7% Positive decrease6.5% Positive decrease28.1%
1994 Increase113.7 Increase8,020.5 Increase57.5 Increase4,057.6 Increase5.1% Negative increase11.5% Negative increase7.8% Positive decrease22.6%
1995 Increase126.3 Increase8,785.7 Increase74.1 Increase5,152.7 Increase8.9% Negative increase8.2% Positive decrease7.4% Positive decrease17.3%
1996 Increase137.0 Increase9,396.4 Increase78.6 Increase5,386.1 Increase6.5% Negative increase7.4% Positive decrease6.5% Positive decrease14.6%
1997 Increase149.7 Increase10,126.4 Increase85.7 Increase5,796.3 Increase7.4% Negative increase6.1% Positive decrease6.1% Positive decrease12.8%
1998 Increase157.8 Increase10,534.9 Decrease82.0 Decrease5,474.1 Increase4.2% Negative increase5.1% Negative increase6.2% Positive decrease12.1%
1999 Increase159.5 Decrease10,516.9 Decrease75.5 Decrease4,980.1 Decrease-0.3% Increase3.3% Negative increase10.0% Negative increase13.3%
2000 Increase171.2 Increase11,158.9 Increase78.2 Increase5,096.3 Increase5.0% Increase3.8% Positive decrease9.7% Positive decrease13.2%
2001 Increase180.6 Increase11,635.4 Decrease71.5 Decrease4,606.8 Increase3.1% Increase3.6% Negative increase9.9% Negative increase14.4%
2002 Increase189.3 Increase12,060.7 Decrease70.3 Decrease4,478.9 Increase3.2% Increase2.5% Positive decrease9.8% Negative increase15.0%
2003 Increase202.1 Increase12,744.8 Increase76.5 Increase4,824.7 Increase4.7% Increase2.8% Positive decrease9.5% Positive decrease12.6%
2004 Increase221.3 Increase13,814.3 Increase99.1 Increase6,184.4 Increase6.7% Increase1.1% Negative increase10.0% Positive decrease10.3%
2005 Increase241.7 Increase14,932.2 Increase122.3 Increase7,559.8 Increase5.9% Increase3.1% Positive decrease9.3% Positive decrease7.0%
2006 Increase264.2 Increase16,161.0 Increase153.9 Increase9,414.7 Increase6.1% Increase3.4% Positive decrease8.0% Positive decrease5.0%
2007 Increase285.4 Increase17,277.4 Increase172.5 Increase10,445.4 Increase5.2% Increase4.4% Positive decrease7.0% Positive decrease3.9%
2008 Increase301.9 Increase18,082.8 Increase179.5 Increase10,751.5 Increase3.8% Negative increase8.7% Negative increase7.8% Negative increase4.9%
2009 Decrease300.4 Decrease17,795.9 Decrease171.6 Decrease10,162.9 Decrease-1.1% Increase1.5% Negative increase11.1% Negative increase5.9%
2010 Increase321.8 Increase18,857.6 Increase216.9 Increase12,711.0 Increase5.8% Increase1.4% Positive decrease8.3% Negative increase8.6%
2011 Increase349.0 Increase20,330.5 Increase251.1 Increase14,552.1 Increase6.2% Increase3.3% Positive decrease7.3% Negative increase11.1%
2012 Increase374.3 Increase21,584.7 Increase267.1 Increase15,313.6 Increase6.2% Increase3.0% Positive decrease6.6% Negative increase11.9%
2013 Increase392.7 Increase22,425.6 Increase277.3 Increase15,743.3 Increase3.3% Increase1.8% Positive decrease6.1% Negative increase12.8%
2014 Increase402.9 Increase22,779.4 Decrease259.4 Decrease14,583.0 Increase1.8% Increase4.7% Negative increase6.5% Negative increase15.0%
2015 Increase405.5 Decrease22,691.5 Decrease242.5 Decrease13,494.1 Increase2.2% Increase4.3% Positive decrease6.3% Negative increase17.4%
2016 Increase424.8 Increase23,492.3 Increase249.2 Increase13,717.6 Increase1.7% Increase3.8% Negative increase6.7% Negative increase21.1%
2017 Increase450.8 Increase24,546.9 Increase276.2 Increase14,994.3 Increase1.3% Increase2.2% Negative increase7.0% Negative increase23.7%
2018 Increase478.0 Increase25,564.5 Increase295.1 Increase15,739.9 Increase3.9% Increase2.3% Negative increase7.4% Negative increase25.8%
2019 Increase492.2 Increase25,853.8 Decrease278.3 Decrease14,567.6 Increase0.9% Increase2.3% Positive decrease7.2% Negative increase28.3%
2020 Decrease491.4 Decrease25,468.2 Decrease252.3 Decrease12,968.5 Decrease-6.1% Increase3.0% Negative increase10.8% Negative increase32.6%
2021 Increase568.1 Increase29,148.2 Increase316.8 Increase16,065.0 Increase11.7% Increase4.5% Positive decrease8.9% Negative increase36.3%
2022 Increase616.2 Increase31,436.6 Decrease310.9 Decrease15,603.6 Increase2.0% Negative increase11.6% Positive decrease7.9% Positive decrease36.2%
2023 Increase634.3 Increase32,551.4 Increase335.6 Increase16,816.4 Increase0.2% Negative increase8.7% Negative increase8.3% Negative increase36.9%
2024 Increase657.6 Increase33,879.9 Increase333.8 Increase16,616.1 Increase2.0% Increase4.1% Positive decrease8.2% Negative increase37.8%
2025 Increase684.6 Increase35,277.6 Increase374.7 Increase18,546.7 Increase2.3% Increase3.0% Positive decrease7.8% Negative increase38.4%
2026 Increase713.4 Increase36,437.9 Increase391.8 Increase19,258.7 Increase2.4% Increase3.0% Positive decrease7.4% Negative increase38.8%
2027 Increase742.6 Increase37,691.8 Increase408.8 Increase20,010.3 Increase2.5% Increase3.0% Positive decrease7.2% Positive decrease38.5%
2028 Increase772.9 Increase38,904.8 Increase426.9 Increase20,787.3 Increase2.5% Increase3.0% Positive decrease7.2% Positive decrease38.5%
2029 Increase804.3 Increase40,387.2 Increase445.1 Increase21,567.2 Increase2.5% Increase3.0% Positive decrease7.2% Positive decrease38.5%

GDP composition

Main macroeconomic aggregates of GDP.

Aggregate 2015
(millions of CLP$)
% Change
year-on-year (%)
Private consumption 101,141,482 64.4 1.5
Government consumption 21,103,758 13.4 5.8
Changes in inventories −391,923 −0.2
Gross fixed capital formation 35,707,922 22.7 −1.5
(Exports) (47,221,915) (30.1) −1.9
(Imports) (47,652,270) (30.3) −2.8
Exports minus Imports −430,355 −0.3
GDP 157,130,884 100.0 2.1

Note: Data are preliminary. Source: Cuentas Nacionales de Chile – Evolución de la actividad económica en el año 2015 (p. 29), Central Bank of Chile, accessed on 23 March 2016.

GDP by sector

Gross domestic product by sector of the economy.

Sector 2011
(millions of CLP$)
Agriculture and forestry 3,328,749 2.8
Fishing 424,545 0.4
Manufacturing industry
Beverage and tobacco
Textile, clothing and leather
Wood and furniture
Cellulose, paper and printing
Oil refinement
Chemical, rubber and plastic
Non-metallic mineral products and basic metals
Metallic products, machinery, equipment and others
Electricity, gas and water 2,829,820 2.4
Construction 8,916,291 7.4
Retail 9,467,766 7.9
Restaurants and hotels 1,917,615 1.6
Transportation 4,906,137 4.1
Communications 2,319,387 1.9
Financial services 5,049,548 4.2
Business services 15,655,893 13.0
Real estate services 6,021,032 5.0
Personal services (health, education, and other services) 12,793,180 10.6
Public administration 5,207,342 4.3
GDP at factor cost 110,229,891 91.7
VAT taxes 9,347,632 7.8
Import duties 655,081 0.5
GDP at market prices 120,232,603 100.0

Note: 2011 data are preliminary. Source: Cuentas Nacionales – Evolución de la actividad económica en el año 2011 (p. 34). Central Bank of Chile. accessed on 22 March 2012.

Top exports

Chile's exports in 1950–2007.

Chile's top exports in 2013.

Export Millions of
US dollars FOB
Mining 43,937 49.11
    Copper 40,158 44.88
        Cathodes 18,804 21.02
        Concentrates 16,883 18.87
    Gold 1,384 1.55
    Iron 1,379 1.54
    Silver 379 0.42
    Lithium carbonate 226 0.25
    Molybdenum concentrate 178 0.20
    Sea salt and table salt 120 0.13
Agriculture, silviculture and fishing 5,749 6.43
    Fruit sector 4,738 5.30
        Grape 1,605 1.79
        Apple 843 0.94
        Vaccinium 461 0.52
        Cherry 391 0.44
        Kiwifruit 245 0.27
        Avocado 185 0.21
        Pear 168 0.19
        Plum 152 0.17
    Other agriculture 830 0.93
        Corn kernel 361 0.40
        Vegetable seed 158 0.18
    Extractive fishing 149 0.17
    Silviculture sector 33 0.04
Industrial 26,997 30.17
    Foodstuff 8,298 9.28
        Salmon 2,772 3.10
        Trout 766 0.86
        Mollusks and crustaceans 498 0.56
        Pork 454 0.51
        Fish meal 418 0.47
        Dried fruit 383 0.43
        Frozen fruit 337 0.38
        Poultry meat 276 0.31
        Fruit juice 240 0.27
        Canned fruit 156 0.17
        Fish oil 109 0.12
        Hake 107 0.12
        Canned fish 53 0.06
    Chemical products 5,447 6.09
        Fertilizers 860 0.96
        Iodine 839 0.94
        Molybdenum oxide 761 0.85
        Tires 393 0.44
        Potassium nitrate 296 0.33
        Methanol 56 0.06
    Cellulose, paper and other 3,607 4.03
        Bleached and semi-bleached eucalyptus pulp 1,262 1.41
        Bleached and semi-bleached coniferous pulp 1,261 1.41
        Cardboard 329 0.37
        Raw coniferous pulp 281 0.31
    Metallic products, machinery and equipment 2,796 3.12
        Machinery and equipment 1,416 1.58
        Transport material 879 0.98
        Metallic manufactures 500 0.56
    Beverage and tobacco 2,407 2.69
        Bottled wine 1,560 1.74
        Bulk wine and others 417 0.47
        Non-alcoholic beverages 297 0.33
    Forestry and wood furniture 2,272 2.54
        Lumber 814 0.91
        Wood fibreboards 350 0.39
        Woodchips 315 0.35
        Profiled timber 273 0.31
        Plywood 254 0.28
    Basic metals industry 1,106 1.24
        Copper wire 457 0.51
        Ferromolybdenum 223 0.25
    Other industrial products 1,064 1.19
Goods total 76,684 85.71
Transport 6,357 7.11
Travel 2,219 2.48
Others 4,211 4.71
Services total 12,787 14.29
Total exports 89,471 100.00

Source: Central Bank of Chile's statistics database.

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