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

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chile’s economy is expected to contract by 2% in 2020, the government said on Friday, while stimulus measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic will deepen the nation’s fiscal deficit to 8%, the largest gap since at least 1990.

The dire predictions from the country´s budget office came the same day center-right President Sebastian Pinera promised a gradual reopening of Chile’s economy, which has been largely shuttered for more than six weeks amid the crisis.

Pinera, in a televised speech, said while his priority was the health of his fellow citizens, the economy was a close second. He promised a “gradual and cautious reopening” in the coming weeks.

“We are preoccupied with taking measures to protect jobs,

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