Chile consumer prices up by higher-than-expected 1.4% in April

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Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Santiago

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s consumer prices rose 1.4% in April boosted by rising costs in food and non-alcoholic beverages, the government’s statistics agency said on Friday.

The figure, which was also driven by rising leisure and education prices, was higher than the 1.0% rise expected in a Reuters poll of economists, but came in below the 1.9% increase seen in the previous month.

According to the National Statistics Institute, 12-month inflation was 10.5%, far above the central bank’s target rate of 2% to 4%.

The data comes a day after Chile’s central bank hiked the country’s interest rate by 125 basis points to 8.25% as it tries to rein in high consumer prices.

That was the latest in a series of hikes by the bank since the middle of last year to curb inflation as the Andean copper producer’s economy has bounced back strongly from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

(Reporting by Fabian Andres Cambero and Gabriel Araujo. Editing by Jane Merriman and Frank Jack Daniel)

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