Chileans believe the economy will get worse in 2020 and fear massive unemployment



43% of Chileans believe that the country's economic situation will worsen in the first half of 2020, the highest figure in recent years, and 57% predict that unemployment will increase, according to the Cadem survey published Monday.

Only 13% of Chileans surveyed were optimistic about economic performance, far behind 43% who think they will remain the same and 43% who say they will decline.

In August 2019, six months ago, only 20% had a negative perception of the economy, 23 points less than now.

The figures contrast with the surprising growth of 1.1% last December in relation to the same period of 2018 and after two months of intense falls due to the serious social outbreak that the South American country has been experiencing since October.

According to the Monthly Economic Activity Index (Imacec) published by the Central Bank, in the last month of 2019 economic activity increased by 3.5% compared to November, driven mainly by mining, although a fall of 1 was expected %.

Despite the positive numbers in December, the protests have made a dent in the Chilean economy, especially in commerce and tourism, to the point that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently corrected downward Chile's growth forecasts by 2020, which went from 3% to 0.9%.

In the absence of a week to complete four months, the mobilizations in the southern country leave at least thirty deaths and more than 3,000 injured in the context of the most serious social crisis since the return to democracy in 1990.

FEAR OF UNEMPLOYMENT

More than half of Chileans (57%) predict that unemployment and prices, in general, of goods and services will increase in the coming months, said Cadem's survey.

Along the same lines, 78% rate the current employment situation as "bad" or "very bad" compared to 15% who describe it as "good" or "very good".

Although unemployment was set at 7% at the end of 2019, just 0.3 points above the 6.7 with which it ended the previous year, since the start of the protests the dismissals for "business needs" They have progressively increased.

Thus, in January 132,551 Chileans were dismissed from their jobs for this cause, 30% more than in the previous month, and the total number of layoffs since October reaches 307,840, according to the Assistant Secretary of Labor, Fernando Arab.

PIÑERA, UNDER MINIMUM

Although the disapproval of the work of President Sebastián Piñera has been constant in recent months, the latest Cadem survey indicates that only 9% approve of its function, the lowest percentage registered so far, and 84% are contrary to performance of the Chilean Government.

The Carabineros Corps (Militarized Police) also scores a record low with 34% approval.

The police force has been in the spotlight since the beginning of the crisis and has been accused of committing serious human rights violations by various agencies such as the UN, Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Although the demonstrations in Chile have lost strength, there is still discontent in the streets and the crisis seems far from being solved, despite the government's social measures and the plebiscite of next April to decide if the Constitution is changed, written in the dictatorship of Augustus Pinochet (1973-1990) and indicated for being the origin of the great inequalities of the country.

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