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Chile finance minister warns of job losses, rising gasoline prices amid unrest: studies By Reuters


Chile finance minister warns of job losses, rising gasoline prices amid unrest: studies

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s finance minister warned as many as 300,000 jobs could possibly be misplaced because the impacts of weeks of rioting hammer certainly one of Latin America’s strongest economies, based on a report in enterprise journal Diario Financiero.

Newly appointed Finance Minister Ignacio Briones instructed a legislative committee it was “extremely doubtless” unemployment would bounce 3% within the coming months.

“It is apparent to anybody {that a} nation that’s working at half pace can also be producing employment at half pace,” he mentioned.

Ongoing rallies, looting and arson have killed greater than 20 individuals, despatched the peso spiraling downwards in opposition to the greenback and wrought billions of {dollars} in damages in latest weeks. Many companies have been shuttered for almost a month and vandals have hobbled public transportation in Santiago, a metropolis of 6 million.

Middle-right President Sebastian Pinera has offered a raft of social and financial reforms to quell the calls for of protesters, together with boosting the wages of the bottom earners.

However Briones mentioned boosting the minimal wage would worsen the scenario. “The worst factor you are able to do is to boost the minimal wage by 20%,” Briones mentioned, based on the report.

The falling peso, which hit an historic low on Thursday, raised the specter of a hike in gasoline prices, Briones mentioned. Chile imports virtually all the fossil fuels it consumes.

“Gasoline costs are going to rise, it could possibly’t be every other approach,” Briones instructed reporters on Thursday.

Briones additionally warned of a “technical recession” in 2020, based on the newspaper.

“We can not discard that state of affairs,” he mentioned. “The scenario is dramatic.”

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