Panama Economic Activity

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Panama: Economic activity edges up in October to highest reading in seven months

December 28, 2015

In October, the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMAE, Indice Mensual de Actividad Economica) expanded 4.2% over the same month last year, which was above the 3.9% growth tallied in September (previously reported: +3.6% year-on-year). According to the National Comptroller’s Office, the increase in October was driven by growth in most sectors of the economy where the transport, warehousing and communications, mining and quarrying, and financial intermediation components reported the strongest expansions. Meanwhile, the construction sector showed positive growth due to activity related to the public and private sectors, although it was restrained by the nearly-complete Panama Canal expansion project. October’s overall growth in October was, nevertheless, offset by a contraction in manufacturing and commerce.



On a month-on-month basis, economic activity in October increased 0.64% in seasonally-adjusted terms, which was down from the 1.01% increase recorded in September (previously reported: 0.68% month-on-month). Meanwhile, the overall trend inched down; annual average growth in economic activity was 4.4% versus September’s 4.5%. October’s reading is the weakest expansion since December 2010.



The National Comptroller’s Office revised their methodology for calculating national accounts and changed the base year to 2007 in October 2015. Historical data for national accounts shown in this report reflect the change in base year. Some forecasts may not yet reflect this change.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that the economy will grow 6.1% in 2016, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. The panel expects GDP to expand 6.4% in 2017.


Author: Jean-Philippe Pourcelot, Economist

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Panama Economic Activity Chart


Panama Economic Activity October 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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