Panama Economic Activity October 2019


Panama: Economic activity slows in October

December 20, 2019

The monthly indicator for economic activity (IMAE, Índice Mensual de Actividad Económica) grew 3.4% year-on-year in October, slowing from the 4.0% expansion in September. Meanwhile, average annual growth in economic activity was unchanged at 3.3% for the fourth month running in October.

The slowdown was likely linked to a deceleration of export growth in October. The overall reading, however, continued to be driven by favorable developments in the transport, storage and communications sector—which includes activity in the Panama Canal and national ports—with increased canal operations and TEU container transit through the country’s ports. Additionally, the trade, financial intermediation, agricultural, public administration and construction sectors grew in October. Electricity and water supply also picked up this month due to stronger thermal energy generation and natural gas supply.

On a month-on-month, seasonally-adjusted basis, economic activity shrank 0.4% in October, contrasting the 0.8% expansion in September.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see the economy growing 4.6% in 2020, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. The panel expects GDP to expand 4.8% in 2021.

Author:, Economist

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Panama Economic Activity Chart

Panama Economic Activity October 2019

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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