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%).