Panama Economic Activity May 2016


Economic activity expands at fastest pace in over one year in May

In May, the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMAE, Índice Mensual de Actividad Económica) rose 5.2% over the same month of the previous year, marking a clear acceleration from the 3.7% print tallied in April. May’s reading marked the sharpest expansion since March 2015 and was driven by growth in all but two sectors of the economy. According to the National Comptroller’s Office (Contraloría General de la República), mining and quarrying and construction were the components that reported the strongest expansions while fishing and community activities contracted. The National Comptroller’s Office pointed out that construction of large-scale infrastructure projects was behind the expansion in construction and mining and quarrying.

On a month-on-month basis, growth in economic activity in May expanded 0.96% in seasonally-adjusted terms, which contrasted the 0.10% decline tallied in April and marked the highest reading in over three years. Meanwhile, annual average growth in economic activity edged up from 3.9% in April to 4.2% in May.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that the economy will grow 5.8% in 2016, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. The panel expects GDP to expand 6.0% in 2017.

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Panama Economic Activity Chart

Panama Economic Activity May 2016 1

Note: Year-on-year changes and annual average variation of trend-cycle economic activity in %.
Source: National Comptroller’s Office and FocusEconomics calculations.

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