Panama: Economic activity accelerates to year-high in January
March 24, 2015
In January, the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMAE, Indice Mensual de Actividad Economica) expanded 5.9% over the same month last year, which was stronger than the 5.4% growth tallied in December and marked the fastest growth in a year. According to the National Comptroller’s Office, the increase in January was driven by growth in several sectors of the economy, including transport, warehousing and communications, fishing, financial services and tourism. Meanwhile, the construction sector and the mining and quarrying industry showed positive growth despite the ongoing slowdown in work related to the Panama Canal expansion project.
On a month-on-month basis, economic activity in January increased 0.24% in seasonally-adjusted terms, which was just below the 0.27% increase recorded in December. Meanwhile, the overall trend stabilized after 12 consecutive months of decline; annual average growth in economic activity held at December’s 5.0% in January. While this marks the lowest reading in more than four years, it suggests that the slowdown has bottomed out.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist