Panama: Economic activity grows at quickest pace since October 2013 in April, thanks to favorable base effect
Economic activity grew 12.1% year-on-year in April (March: -6.0% yoy), partly supported by the ease in restrictions late in the month, albeit mostly benefitting from a favorable base effect. Still, the print marked the best result since October 2013. Over the first four months of the year, the mining sector performed well amid higher copper exports, as did the fishing and private health sectors.
Meanwhile, the trend improved significantly, with the annual average variation of economic activity coming in at minus 15.6% in April, up from March’s minus 18.7% reading.
Going forward, robust mining should continue to buttress overall output, although lingering restrictions will keep a lid on momentum in the near term by suppressing service-related activities to an extent.
On the outlook, analysts at EIU commented:
“We expect real GDP to recover only partly in 2021 from the steep coronavirus-led recession […]. A rebound in global activity will support Panama’s recovery; we forecast that real GDP will expand by 13% in 2021 despite a weak start to the year amid a second wave of coronavirus cases and a new lockdown […]. Our forecast for a rebound assumes that a steady vaccine rollout allows activity to increase and the construction and logistics sectors to resume after being hit badly last year.”