Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes: Data Module, Response by the Authorities, and Detailed Assessment Using the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF)

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes data module provides an assessment of Chile’s macroeconomic statistics against the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), complemented by an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework. The assessment reveals that Chile’s macroeconomic statistics are timely, generally of high quality, and adequate to conduct effective surveillance. There is a high degree of quality awareness among Chile’s statistical managers and a reputation of integrity of the statistical institutions and processes among data users. However, there is scope for improvement in some areas.


This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes data module provides an assessment of Chile’s macroeconomic statistics against the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), complemented by an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework. The assessment reveals that Chile’s macroeconomic statistics are timely, generally of high quality, and adequate to conduct effective surveillance. There is a high degree of quality awareness among Chile’s statistical managers and a reputation of integrity of the statistical institutions and processes among data users. However, there is scope for improvement in some areas.

I. Overall Assessment

1. Chile subscribed to the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) on May 17, 1996 and started posting its metadata on the Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board (DSBB) on February 19, 1997. Chile is in observance of the SDDS, meeting the specifications for coverage, periodicity, timeliness, and the dissemination of advance release calendars. Chile uses a flexibility option on the timeliness of the central government operations data; although at present it meets SDDS requirements in this regard. Appendix I provides an overview of Chile’s dissemination practices compared to the SDDS.

2. This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) data module is a reassessment of the exercise conducted in April 2001 but applies an updated framework and covers national accounts, prices, government finance, monetary, and balance of payments statistics. Of these datasets, the National Statistics Institute (NSI) is responsible for price statistics, the Central Bank of Chile (CBCH) is responsible for national accounts, monetary, and balance of payments statistics, and the Budget Directorate (DIPRES) of the Ministry of Finance (MOF) is responsible for the government finance statistics. The Superintendency of Banks and Financial Institutions (SBFI) collects monetary data. Since the assessment in 2001, major methodological improvements include the change of benchmark year of national accounts (NA) and the compilation of a producer price index (PPI), the implementation of the Balance of Payments Manual, fifth edition (BPM5), and the adoption of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2001 (GFSM2001). Chile’s macroeconomic statistics are timely, generally of high quality, and adequate to conduct effective surveillance. There is a high degree of quality awareness among Chile’s statistical managers and a reputation of integrity of the statistical institutions and processes among data users. However, there is scope for improvement in some areas. Resources at the NSI are inadequate; coordination among statistical agencies should be enhanced, including to ensure intersectoral consistency; there are certain weaknesses in key source data; consultation with users and user groups is inadequate; the legal framework governing the NSI and the legal mandate to request statistical data to the nonfinancial private sector needs to be reinforced; and there is scope for improvement in methodological soundness, particularly regarding classification and sectorization. Moreover, there is a need for a more comprehensive and extensive treatment in the statistics of the copper sector which is pervasively important to a full understanding of the Chilean economy.

3. In applying the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF July 2003), the remainder of this section presents the mission’s main conclusions. The presentation is done at the level of the DQAF’s quality dimensions, by agency for the first two dimensions and across datasets for the remaining four. Section II provides a summary assessment by agency and dataset based on a four-point rating scale. This is followed by staff recommendations in Section III. The authorities’ response to this report and a volume of detailed assessments are presented in separate documents.

4. Regarding prerequisites of quality, legal and institutional frameworks are generally adequate, but the independence of the NSI needs to be reinforced. Also, there are no legal precepts empowering the CBCH to require private institutions to respond to data requests solely for statistical purposes, except for information on foreign exchange transactions.1 Resources are adequate at the CBCH and at the SBFI. Resources need to be strengthened at the DIPRES of the MOF to complete the migration to the GFSM 2001 and ensure adequate business continuity and data sharing. Resources are inadequate at the NSI to ensure (1) the regular updating of the business register, (2) well-diversified outlet and enterprise samples, (3) continuous analysis and implementation of methodological enhancements and improvements in the validation and timeliness of source data for national accounts and price statistics, (4) reliable business continuity planning, and (5) appropriate quality adjustments to price statistics. Macroeconomic datasets could be improved in meeting users’ needs as there are no regular consultations with public and private sector users and user groups have not been fostered. Public knowledge on the PPI is scant and the index credibility has not been well established.

5. The Chilean statistical agencies get high marks in assurances of integrity as they adhere firmly to the principle of objectivity in the collection, processing, and dissemination of statistics. Chile’s macroeconomic and financial institutional environment rests on four pillars: (1) an autonomous central bank that conducts the monetary policy under an inflation targeting scheme, (2) a fiscal policy governed by a fiscal rule aimed at achieving a structural fiscal surplus, which considers long-run copper prices and projected copper output levels (given the significance of copper in the Chilean’s economy), (3) a regulation and supervision of the financial sector according to international standards involving several supervisory entities (including the SBFI), and (4) integration with international markets through trade openness, free capital mobility, and a floating exchange rate regime. There is awareness that policymaking, and decision making in general, require adequate macroeconomic statistics and indicators to monitor significant developments in the economy and to watch for early warnings. Agencies demonstrate professionalism, are transparent in their policies and practices, and provide guidelines to their staff on ethical conduct. Each agency has well-established and documented practices to ensure professionalism and impartiality in their work. Major changes in the conceptual framework, source data, and statistical techniques of macroeconomic statistics are announced in advance. However, at the NSI the short tenure of directors and deputy directors (three years plus one possible renewal) and discretion for removal are not supportive of professional independence. The NSI, MOF, and CBCH statisticians participate with colleagues from other countries in working groups, committees, and other fora leading to close cooperation in statistical matters, and increasing opportunities for sharing good practices and enhancing professionalism. Examples are Chile’s membership in the IMF’s Balance of Payments Committee, and its participation in the International Comparison Program and the UN Ottawa Group on Price Indices (Ottawa Group), and in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) as an observer. Although beyond the scope of this assessment, Chile is also participating in the Coordinated Compilation Exercise for Financial Soundness Indicators.

6. Regarding methodological soundness, the macroeconomic statistics broadly follow internationally accepted standards, guidelines, and good practices on definitions, scope, classification and sectorization, and basis for recording. There are some areas for improvement in the scope of the NA regarding the treatment of mineral exploration, agricultural work in progress, and own-account production of computer software, databases, and manufacturing products. There is also room for improvement in the classification of copper derivatives, the functions of government, and individual consumption by purpose.2 The consumer price index (CPI) has a limited geographic coverage.3 The basket includes interest rates on consumption loans and mortgage payments with an inconsistent treatment with best practice, and an erroneous classification of educational services that may introduce a downward bias. The PPI does not register copper price movements on an accrual basis. Regarding government finance statistics (GFS), the institutional and transactional coverage for the general government are incomplete. Sectorization is broadly in line with the GFSM 2001, but significant deviations from the GFSM 2001 exist regarding classification systems. Aggregates that do not conform to the GFSM 2001 framework are revenues from copper, subsidies and grants, capital transfers, financing transactions, and the stock of central government debt. Chile’s monetary statistics are in line with the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM), with a few nonmaterial departures regarding the valuation of financial instruments, accrual of interest on nonperforming loans, and the recording of gold holdings at the CBCH. Securities issued by the CBCH and liabilities of mutual funds are not properly sectorized in the CBCH and Other Depository Corportions (ODCs) surveys, respectively. Chile’s balance of payments (BOP) statistics are broadly in line with the BPM5, but there are a few departures regarding the basis for recording public and private sector external debt (where interest is recorded on a cash basis) and some foreign direct investment transactions.

7. Accuracy and reliability of macroeconomic statistics in Chile are adequate. Source data and statistical techniques are sound and statistical outputs sufficiently portray reality. Looking forward, rapid expansion of services and of the financial system presents challenges to ensure reliable source data and continuous compliance with international standards. The business register is partially outdated and not updated regularly, while the frequency of the Household Budget Survey (HBS) is not in line with international best practice, which may affect the quality of household consumption expenditure data for NA. The source data available for agriculture, fishing, some services, and quarterly estimates are limited in scope. Lack of timeliness in validating data on the NSI’s surveys limits their potential use. For most surveys, scientific sampling techniques are not used. For the HBS and most business surveys, no information is available concerning sampling errors and nonsampling errors. There are no explicit estimates of nonobserved activities (informal, unrecorded, and underground activities). Changes in inventories are obtained as residuals in the framework of the supply-and-use table and hence their resulting price movements are erratic. The CPI basket and weight structure are outdated, but there are plans to address this weakness. CPI source data consistency is not verified with other sources of information. Procedures to refresh outlets in the CPI sample are not in place, adjustments for quality differences are generally not made, and sources of errors are not investigated routinely. For the PPI, adjustments for quality differences are not made (in particular, the copper price recollection procedure increases quality induced volatility), and missing prices are carried forward from the last observed price in most of the categories. Regarding the GFS, stock data on financial assets and liabilities are only recorded at face value. Monetary statistics could be enhanced through additional validations of source data and cross-checking with fiscal data.

8. Serviceability of macroeconomic statistics gets high marks, as confirmed by the results of the users’ survey conducted prior to the mission’s arrival to Santiago. Macroeconomic statistics are available with adequate periodicity and timeliness. Most datasets follow the international good practices of providing the public with a clear statement of the revision schedule and of identifying provisional estimates. Macroeconomic statistics are broadly consistent. Some inconsistencies between NA and GFS resulting from differences in coverage, sectorization, and classification are reconcilable. GFS are not internally consistent due to differences in source data and valuation methods used to compile debt flows and stocks. In addition, GFS are not routinely reconciled with data from other data producing agencies, except for NA. Monetary data on net credit to the government are not reconciled with fiscal data. BOP statistics are not consistent with external debt statistics (which value portfolio liabilities on a nominal basis), but differences are reconcilable. GFS are not entirely consistent with external debt statistics due to discrepancies in the residence criteria.

9. Accessibility to macroeconomic statistics is very good. All datasets are readily available to the public in electronic form and, in general, are easily downloadable from the websites of the data-producing agencies (particularly from the CBCH’s website), and presented in a user-friendly format. However, price statistics are not presented in a way that facilitates proper interpretation and meaningful comparisons. Appropriate analysis of current-period price developments is not included with press releases and data dissemination formats hinder redissemination and analysis of inflation trends. The NSI does not publish the X1 price index (the CBCH’s core inflation definition) although the estimate is prepared by the CBCH. A PPI indicator that excludes copper effects on its volatility is not published. The NSI’s website provides a comprehensive description of CPI metadata but only a summary of the PPI metadata and no detailed PPI time series. Macroeconomic statistics are made available simultaneously to all users. Unpublished, nonconfidential data are made available to users on request.

10. To enrich the basis for the assessment, the mission elicited the views of selected users of macroeconomic statistics. With the assistance of the CBCH and the NSI, a users’ survey was conducted (with 50 respondents), and meetings were held with selected users. Most users were satisfied with the methodological soundness, timely dissemination, accessibility, and frequency of official macroeconomic statistics. However, they identified some areas where there is scope for improvement. In particular, it appears that the PPI lacks credibility and is not much used. The coverage and detail of GFS and PPI are seen as insufficient, and some users did not know whether an early release calendar for GFS existed and was met. A number of users indicated that the information on revisions on NA, PPI, GFS, and BOP could be improved. They also found somewhat difficult the access to metadata on NA, PPI, and GFS. Some users expressed an interest in more detailed and longer time series on NA, BOP, PPI, the monthly index of economic activity (IMACEC), and GFS. A considerable number of users emphasized the need for data on household income distribution, average prices by industry, volume of sales by industry, and reliable and consistent series on employment statistics.

II. Assessment by Agency and Dataset

11. Assessment of the quality of six macroeconomic datasets—NA, CPI, PPI, GFS, monetary, and BOP statistics—were conducted using the DQAF July 2003. In this section, the results are presented at the level of the DQAF elements and using a four-point rating scale (Table 1). Assessments of the prerequisites of data quality and the assurances of integrity (Dimensions “0” and “1” of the DQAF) are presented in Tables 2a-d. For each dataset, the assessment of methodological soundness, accuracy and reliability, serviceability, and accessibility (Dimensions “2” to “5” of the DQAF) are shown in Tables 3a-f.

Table 1.

Chile: Data Quality Assessment Framework July 2003—Summary Results

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Practice observed: current practices generally in observance meet or achieve the objectives of DQAF internationally accepted statistical practices without any significant deficiencies. Practice largely observed: some departures, but these are not seen as sufficient to raise doubts about the authorities’ ability to observe the DQAF practices. Practice largely not observed: significant departures and the authorities will need to take significant action to achieve observance. Practice not observed: most DQAF practices are not met. Not applicable: used only exceptionally when statistical practices do not apply to a country’s circumstances.
Table 2a.

Chile: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 0 and 1—National Statistics Institute

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Table 2b.

Chile: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 0 and 1—Budget Directorate of the Ministry of Finance

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Table 2c.

Chile: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 0 and 1—Central Bank of Chile

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Table 2d.

Chile: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 0 and 1—Superintendency of Banks and Financial Institutions

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Table 3a.

Chile: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 2 to 5—National Accounts

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Table 3b.

Chile: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 2 to 5—Consumer Price Index

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Table 3c.

Chile: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 2 to 5—Producer Price Index

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Table 3d.

Chile: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 2 to 5—Government Finance Statistics

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Table 3e.

Chile: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 2 to 5—Monetary Statistics

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Table 3f.

Chile: Assessment of Data Quality—Dimensions 2 to 5—Balance of Payments Statistics

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III. Staff’s Recommendations4

12. Based on the review of Chile’s statistical practices, discussions with the data-producing agencies, and responses from data users (see Appendix III of the Detailed Assessments volume), the mission developed a set of recommendations. They are designed to increase further Chile’s adherence to internationally accepted statistical practices and would, in the mission’s view, enhance the analytical usefulness of Chile’s statistics. Some additional technical suggestions are included in the Detailed Assessments volume.

Cross-cutting recommendations

High Priority

  • Ensure that the NSI has adequate financial resources, staff, facilities, and training, and take further steps to increase retention of qualified staff.

  • Strengthen independence of the NSI by lengthening tenure of the NSI Director and Deputy Directors from three to six years, staggering appointments, maintaining the reappointment option, and limiting discretion for removal.

  • Enhance coordination among statistical agencies through closer contact and regular meetings of technical staff to discuss specific data requirements at a detailed level, reduce the respondent burden, use the collected data in all their potential, improve the timeliness of source data, and avoid duplication of effort in the collection of source data.

  • Reinforce the legal framework of the CBCH to ensure its legal mandate to request statistical data to the nonfinancial private sector.

  • Initiate regular consultations with public and private sector users, including through fostering users’ groups to improve the usefulness of statistics.

  • Intensify efforts to improve intersectoral data consistency and reconciliation by addressing issues related to differences in coverage, classification, and sectorization among the different datasets.

Other recommendations

  • Disseminate the name of contact persons responsible for each dataset.

National Accounts

High priority

  • The NSI needs to update the business register (directory) regularly by requesting data on annual sales and employment by enterprise to the ITS, and conduct a simplified economic census (pre-census) every five years to prepare updated sampling frames.

  • In the framework of the NSI’s law revision, clarify its responsibility of collecting source data for the compilation of national accounts.

  • Apply the standard ISIC Rev. 3 and CPC for classifying activities and products, respectively, in order to facilitate international comparisons, and publish complementary tables for domestic analysis of copper-related activities and main export products.

  • Increase the level of detail of disseminated data at three digits of the ISIC, or at least at two digits.

  • Improve estimates on changes in inventories by using the available data by product and analyzing their price movements.

  • Reconstruct historical series as far back as reasonably possible (at least five years), when changes in source data, methodology, and statistical techniques are introduced (e.g., change of benchmark year). The linked series for 1986-1995 should be reviewed and the series 1986-2002 should be published in a hard copy.

Other recommendations

  • Widen the use of the PPI when compiling estimates at constant prices.

  • Improve estimates of nonobserved activities by using available employment and income data from household/employment surveys.

  • Incorporate agricultural work-in-progress and mineral exploration in the production and assets boundary, given the importance of mining and agriculture activities in the Chilean economy, and consider the use of chain indices for calculating volume measures.

Price Statistics


High priority

  • Provide adequate protection for computer resources. In particular, the NSI needs an emergency back-up system to compile and publish price statistics in the case of a natural or unforeseen event that impedes access to its building.

  • Determine procedures to adjust prices of products and services for quality changes.

  • Improve presentation and content of press release to facilitate proper interpretation.

  • Develop a more user-friendly webpage.

Other recommendations

  • Focus on the quality of statistical work by establishing on a planned schedule the management quality system ISO 9001:2000.

  • Redefine thresholds for unusual price movements of index components. Base new boundaries for investigation on idiosyncratic characteristics of each item or group.

  • Upgrade facilities. The most pressing requirements include: additional office space, two telephone lines for PPI field agents, and a cooling system.

Consumer Price Index

High priority

  • Update CPI weights and items in the basket. The current structure is based on 1996-1997 expenditure patterns that are likely to have changed substantially during the past decade. (The NSI is currently conducting a new HBS with additional coverage.)

  • Implement planned expansion of geographical scope to include expenditure patterns and price information from regions in Chile, other than the Great Santiago area.

  • Revise methodology of financial expenditures and mortgage payments according to the CPI Manual, 2004.

  • Reclassify educational services at the product level. Particularly, merge within a product category all payment types due toward the same service to avoid a downward index bias.

  • Amend methodology to derive used cars weight, adopting internationally accepted standards.

  • Analyze, refresh, and expand outlet sample to reflect adequately Chilean consumer habits.

  • Review HBS consistency with alternate sources of information to verify CPI weights (particularly in frequent underreported expenditures, such as alcoholic beverages and tobacco).

Other recommendations

  • Prior to data release, restrict access from units within the NSI outside the Price Statistics Department and upper management.

  • Consider adding owner-occupied housing and items with a large expenditure share from high income families that were discretionally excluded from the current basket.

  • Publish the X1 price index on the NSI’s website (CBCH core inflation definition).

Producer Price Index

High priority

  • Conduct survey among data users to identify reasons for low credibility on indicators, and implement appropriate measures to address issues.

  • Review methodology for copper price records. The significant role of copper within the Chilean economy calls for timely accrual of price variations, an adequate representation of the magnitudes of the aforementioned movements, and the avoidance of volatility from quality induced variations.

  • Revise methodology to handle missing prices avoiding carrying forward the last reported price in the following economic activities: mining; manufacturing; electricity, gas, and water; and construction.

  • In addition to the regular PPI, publish another version of the indicator that excludes copper. Emphasize the result of this indicator in the press release.

  • Publish on the NSI’s website detailed PPI historical time series.

Other recommendations

  • Expand PPI coverage to include services.

  • Publish detailed metadata on the NSI’s webpage.

Government Finance Statistics

High Priority

  • Follow the GFSM 2001 guidelines in classifying revenue, expenses, and transactions on nonfinancial and financial assets and liabilities, both for stocks and flows.

  • Improve institutional and data coverage of general government. In particular: (1) include universities and ancillary units serving local governments, (2) record capitalized interest on fiscal promissory notes with the CBCH (deuda subordinada) as interest expense in the statement of central government operations, and (3) include as liabilities of central government interest accrued and not paid for all debt instruments, and the stock of recognition bonds.

  • Reconcile debt stocks and flows periodically to improve internal horizontal consistency of GFS.

Other recommendations

  • Follow the guidelines of the GFSM 2001 in valuating the stock of assets and liabilities. All assets and liabilities should be valued at market basis, or nearest equivalent.

  • Record interest on indexed debt instruments according to the GFSM 2001 principles.

Monetary Statistics

  • Properly identify the holding sectors of securities issued by the CBCH and liabilities of mutual funds.

  • Perform systematic validations of reported monetary data within and with other datasets, including ODCs positions vis-à-vis the CBCH, aggregated interbank positions, holdings of securities, and fiscal data.

  • Although beyond the scope of the ROSC, compile an Other Financial Corporations Survey with data of pension funds, insurance corporations, and other relevant financial intermediaries, which will allow the CBCH to produce financial statistics and a balance sheet approach matrix.

Balance of Payments Statistics

High priority

  • Coordinate with the ITS a way to reduce the time to access tributary data records to improve the quality of quarterly BOP estimations. Also the DIPRES should consider the CBCH’s data requirements for statistics purposes (BOP, IIP, external debt, and NA) to distinguish the residence of the payments under the framework of the Reserved Copper Law, in the context of the Art. 19 of the Law of Fiscal Responsibility.

  • Design and implement a data warehouse for the use of external statistics (BOP, IIP, and external debt), aimed at facilitating the DBPDE’s data handling tasks by taking full advantage of the available information. Currently, data are stored in a large number of electronic sheets with complex and unstable links that implies the use of an inefficient and unreliable repository to handle the available information.

  • Record under Reserve Assets the net creditor balance on the Latin American Integration Association reciprocal credits agreements, that is, A accounts (exports or assets) minus B accounts (imports or liabilities).

  • Record transactions related to the external debt on an accrual basis.

Other recommendations

  • Follow the guidelines of the BPM5 in applying the directional criteria to the reverse investments transactions of resident foreign direct investment enterprises using available information at the CBCH.

  • Reclassify trade credit flows of enterprises included in the foreign direct investment directory as foreign direct investment liabilities flows in the case of imports with customs’ information recorded under the “collect mode.”


Table 4.

Chile: Practices compared to the SDDS Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness of data

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Note: Periodicity and timeliness: (D) daily; (W) weekly or with a lag of no more than one week from the reference data or the closing of the reference week; (M) monthly or with a lag of no more than one month; (Q) quarterly or with a lag of no more than one quarter; (A) annually; and (…) not applicable.Italics indicate encouraged categories.


Santiago, August 1st, 2007

Mr Robert W. Edwards


Statistics Department

International Monetary Fund

Washington, D.C. 20431


Vía Facsímile: 697-0395

Dear Mr. Edwards:

On behalf of the National Statistics Institute, the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank of Chile, we are pleased to submit our joint official response to the April 30th, 2007 Report on the Observance of Standards an Codes, Data Module.

We strongly appreciate the entire exercise, which has proven to be most useful for the evaluation of the quality of our macroeconomic statistics. The recommendations made by the IMF mission team will help us in further improving the analytical applicability of our statistics, allowing us to make them comparable with international standards.

We are also pleased to inform you that the Chilean governmental institutions that were evaluated have approved the publication of the complete ROSC Data Module document, including the responses of the institutions to the recommendations, on the IMF’s website.

Finally, we thank all the staff involved on the preparation of the ROSC Report,


c.c.:Mr. Andrés Velasco, Minister of Finance

Ms. Mariana Schkolnik, National Director, National Statistics Institute

Mr. Alberto Arenas de Mesa, Director, Budget Directorate, Ministry of Finance

Mr. Ricardo Vicuna, Manager, Information and Statistical Research, Central Bank of Chile

Agustinas 1180 - Fono - (562) 670 2424 - Fax (562) 670 2637 - Santiago de Chile


Article 40 of the CBCH’s Basic Constitutional Act allows it to demand information on foreign exchange transactions from the private sector.


Improvements in the classification of the functions of government and individual consumption by purpose are under development.


There are plans to address this weakness. A new household budget survey with national coverage is currently being levied to establish a new CPI base period by December 2008.


A complete set of recommendations is presented in each of the detailed assessments, in a separate document.