24 October 2008

Chile Will Meet Long-Term Budget Surplus Goals, Velasco Says

By Nathan Gill
     Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Chilean Finance Minister Andres
Velasco comments on Chile and the international financial
crisis. He spoke to reporters today in Santiago.

On the 2009 budget surplus:
     ``The important thing is the structural surplus, not the
actual surplus. We have a long-term goal of the equivalent of
0.5 percent of gross domestic product. We will meet that goal
this year and we will meet it next year.''

On the price of copper:
     ``The price of copper has fallen, but the price of oil
has, too. We import fuel and what effects Chile is the totality
of what economist call the terms of exchange, or the totality
of imports and exports. We are winning as a country on the side
of oil.''

On unemployment:
     ``Obviously we are following this, but what I would
suggest is that we use hard figures, not speculations. The
situation we are seeing in the metropolitan region up until
Sept. 30 is a continued creation of employment. The
unemployment rate continues to fall.''