Panama Economic Activity


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.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that the economy will grow 6.0% in 2015, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. The panel expects GDP to expand 6.1% in 2016.

Author:, Economist

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Panama Economic Activity Chart

Panama Economic Activity January 2015

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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