UPDATE 1-Chile Nov economic activity up 5.5 pct, beats forecast

Mon Jan 7, 2013 7:23am EST

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* Chile November IMACEC indicator rises 5.5 percent

* November IMACEC up 1.3 pct from October

SANTIAGO Jan 7 (Reuters) - Chile's fast-paced economic growth continued to beat expectations in November on an uptick in the services, mining and retail sectors, according to central bank data on Monday.

Year over year, the IMACEC indicator of economic activity in the world's top copper producer rose 5.5 percent in November, despite one fewer working day versus the same month in 2011.

Economic activity came above market expectations for 5.0 percent growth and above a 3.7 percent expansion in November 2011 from the previous year.

It rose a seasonally adjusted 1.3 percent in November from October compared with a downwardly revised 0.8 percent decline in October.

After data last month showed that Chile's economic activity grew at its fastest annual pace this year in October, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain predicted the economy would likely grow around 5.5 percent in 2012.

Chile's small, copper-dependent economy has mostly fared better than expected despite slowing demand from top trade partner China and fallout from the euro zone's crisis due to robust internal demand, a tight labor market and strong investments.

The central bank calculates its month-on-month IMACEC data in seasonally adjusted terms. A monthly gauge, the IMACEC measures more than 90 percent of the components comprising Chile's gross domestic product, which is published quarterly.

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