Panama Economic Activity


Panama: Economic activity dips in August

October 26, 2015

In August, the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMAE, Indice Mensual de Actividad Economica) expanded 3.6% over the same month last year, which was just below the 3.7% growth tallied in July (previously reported: +3.6% year-on-year). August’s figure marked the weakest result since November 2009 and continued the IMAE’s downward trend. According to the National Comptroller’s Office, the increase in August was driven by growth in several sectors of the economy, including transport, warehousing and communications, mining and quarrying, and financial intermediation. Meanwhile, despite the ongoing slowdown of work on the Panama Canal expansion project, the construction sector showed positive growth due to activity related to the private sector. The overall deceleration in August was due to a slower pace of expansion in the other sectors of the economy, in addition to a contraction in manufacturing and commerce.

On a month-on-month basis, economic activity in August increased 0.72% in seasonally-adjusted terms, which was up from the 0.67% increase recorded in July (previously reported: 0.63%). Meanwhile, the overall trend inched down; annual average growth in economic activity in August fell to 4.4% from July’s 4.5% (previously reported: 4.6%).

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that the economy will grow 6.1% in 2015, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. The panel expects GDP to expand 6.3% in 2016, which is also unchanged from last month’s forecast.

Author: Jean-Philippe Pourcelot, Economist

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Panama Economic Activity Chart

Panama Economic Activity August 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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