Panama Economic Activity January 2016


Panama: Economic activity picks up at the start of the year

March 28, 2016

In January, the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMAE, Indice Mensual de Actividad Economica) expanded 4.1% over the same month last year, which came in above December’s 3.0% increase. According to the National Comptroller’s Office, the increase in January was driven by growth in most sectors of the economy, with the transport, warehousing and communications, and construction components reporting the strongest expansions. January’s overall growth was, nevertheless, partly offset by a contraction in manufacturing, fishing and commercial activity, which has been negatively affected by lower economic activity in the Colon Free Trade Zone.

On a month-on-month basis, economic activity in January increased 0.11% in seasonally-adjusted terms, which was down from the 0.23% increase recorded in December and marked the slowest expansion in 10 months. Meanwhile, annual average growth in economic activity edged down from 4.2% in December to 4.0% in January.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that the economy will grow 6.1% in 2016, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. The panel expects GDP to expand 6.4% in 2017.

Author: Jean-Philippe Pourcelot, Economist

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Panama Economic Activity Chart

Panama Economic Activity January 2016

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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