Every time I talk to someone and the statement that I am an economist comes out, the question is always the same: “And how do you think the economy is going to be this year?” After Chile is such a stable country, and suddenly experiencing a social movement followed by the global pandemic, it is normal that the issue is on the surface. We are not used to the ups and downs of many of our sister countries in Latin America, so uncertainty is something that affects us more strongly. And last year was a year of great uncertainties. Little by little, we have learned from this pandemic, all in the area of health, economy, etc. But, although we are learning, we must get used to living with it for a while, since in fact we must still see the action of the vaccination process, how the “new reality” will take place after what we have experienced, and what will happen to the social movement that was disrupted by the pandemic, but still present. At the level of growth, the Central Bank has improved its estimates, coming to expect a growth of 5%, a figure that in my opinion can occur, with an increase in growth in the second semester greater than the first. It is normal that after a crisis we can have higher growth figures due to the recovery that will take place in the various businesses. The pandemic is what we could call a short-term crisis, in the sense not of its duration, but that once it is over, we should return to higher growth rates.
But as the aforementioned social movement reminded us, growth is not the only important thing, but without growth it is difficult if not impossible for the other measures that the movement sought to be sustainable. But by itself it does not assure us the equity, a decent job, quality of life, etc., that the movement reminded us. The current pandemic has led us to an increase in teleworking, which has cushioned the loss of employment, but once it has passed, the configuration of many markets has changed. The way we buy, live, and interact are not the same. What consequences will this have for employment and its quality? Since teleworking has positive and negative effects on the quality of life. Artificial intelligence, how will it also affect employment? The gender equality issues that Chile still has a way to go. Once the pandemic is over, there are still many challenges to face. The future comes with many challenges, which we must not forget if we want not only to grow, but to develop as a country. And that is also economics.