Panama: Economic activity continues to decelerate in May
July 25, 2014
In May, the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMAE, Indice Mensual de Actividad Economica) expanded 2.0% over the same month last year, which was below the 3.0% growth registered in April. The result marked the lowest pace of growth since September 2009 and was the seventh consecutive deceleration. According to the National Comptroller’s Office, the deceleration was driven by a slowdown in the construction sector as well as in mining and quarrying. A slowdown in work related to the Panama Canal expansion as it nears completion and the conclusion of various large government-backed infrastructure projects are behind the reduction in these sectors. Industrial production also slowed in May, including a reduction in the manufacture of textiles, plastics, metal products and chemicals.
On a month-on-month basis, economic activity decreased 0.51% in seasonally-adjusted terms in May, which followed the 0.67% decrease recorded in April. Meanwhile, the overall trend continues to point downward; annual average growth in economic activity inched down from 6.8% in April to 6.3% in May, which represented the lowest reading since November 2010.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist