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Friday, December 28, 2007

Chile Industrial Output and Unemployment

Chilean industrial production rose less than economists had expected in November as diminished natural gas supplies curtailed petrochemical output. Industrial production rose 4.2 percent last month from a year earlier after rising 5 percent in October, the National Statistics Institute said today.

Chilean companies this year have had to cope with natural gas shortages stemming from neighboring Argentina's decision to cut shipments to ensure its own domestic supply amid cold weather in the Southern Hemisphere. Argentina supplies almost all of Chile's natural gas.

Gas restrictions led to a 15.9 percent plunge in methanol output from last November. Production was led by a 33.6 percent increase in pulp output due to the opening of new plants and a 13.1 percent increase in cement output to meet domestic demand.

The unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in November while industrial sales rose 2.7 percent during the month, the statistics institute also said.

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