U.S. Markets open in 7 hrs 45 mins

Chile economy to grow 4.5 pct in 2013 -finance minister


VALPARAISO, Chile, Oct 1 (Reuters) - Chile's finance minister, Felipe Larrain, forecast on Tuesday that the economy of the world's top copper exporter would grow 4.5 percent in 2013, lower than the government's previous estimate of 4.8 percent.

After growing 5.6 percent last year, the Andean nation's economy has gradually slowed this year, in line with cooling investment, softer domestic demand and lower exports.

Presenting the 2014 budget to Congress, Larrain said domestic demand would grow 5.5 percent in 2013.

"This projection considers moderating GDP (gross domestic product), especially in domestic demand, due to lower investment and less dynamism in exports, as well as a deceleration in emerging markets," Larrain said.

The government's new estimates are in line with the central bank's most recent forecasts for GDP growth of 4 to 4.5 percent and an expansion of 4.9 percent in domestic demand in 2013.