Chile's CPI flat in December, lower than expected

SANTIAGO Tue Jan 8, 2013 6:11am EST

SANTIAGO Jan 8 (Reuters) - Chile's consumer price index was flat in December, slightly lower than the market expected, as lower food and non-alcoholic drink prices offset increases in the housing, water, electricity and gas sectors, the government said on Tuesday.

There was an unexpected 0.5 percent decrease in November, a surprisingly high 0.6 percent rise in October and stronger-than-expected 0.8 percent increase in September.

Traders polled by the central bank had forecast 0.1 percent inflation in December.

Core inflation was 0.3 percent in December. Inflation in the 12 months to December was 1.5 percent, coming in well below the central bank's 3 percent target.