Panama Economic Activity


Panama: Economic activity drops to lowest point since 2009 on reduced infrastructure spending

May 27, 2014

In March, the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMAE, Indice Mensual de Actividad Economica) expanded 4.2% over the same month last year, which was below the 4.5% growth registered in February. The result marked the lowest pace of growth since December 2009. 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. The reduction of activity in these areas was caused by a temporary interruption in work on the Panama Canal expansion project and the conclusion of the construction on the Panama City metro line.

On a month-on-month basis, economic activity increased 0.32% in seasonally-adjusted terms in March, which contrasted the record-low 1.25% drop recorded in February. Meanwhile, the overall trend continues to point downward; annual average growth in economic activity inched down from 7.5% in February to 7.2% in March, which represented the lowest reading since April 2011.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that the economy will grow 7.2% in 2014, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. The panel expects GDP to expand 6.5% in 2015.

Author:, Economist

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Panama Economic Activity Chart

Panama Economic Activity March 2014

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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