* Economic growth and spending both seen up 4.8 pct in 2013
* Chilean peso gained about 9 pct vs U.S. dollar in 2012
SANTIAGO, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Chile’s public spending rose by about 5 percent in 2012, hitting the government’s target and coming in below the economy’s estimated growth rate for the year, Finance Minister Felipe Larrain said on Thursday.
Chile’s economy is expected by the government to have grown 5.5 percent in 2012. Lower public spending helps contain the appreciation of the Chilean peso.
The local currency gained about 9 percent against the dollar in 2012, sapping competitiveness from the country’s export sector.
Both public spending and economic growth in 2013 are forecast to grow by 4.8 percent. The reduction is spending is planned despite 2013 being a presidential election year.