Panama Economic Activity


Panama: Economic activity slows, ticks down in May

July 29, 2015

In May, the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMAE, Indice Mensual de Actividad Economica) expanded 3.1% over the same month last year, which was below the revised 3.4% growth tallied in April (previously reported: +4.2% year-over-year) and marked the slowest growth rate since November 2009. According to the National Comptroller’s Office, May’s increase was driven by growth in several sectors of the economy, including transport, storage and communication, electricity and water, hotels and restaurants and financial intermediation. Meanwhile, despite the ongoing slowdown of work on the Panama Canal expansion project, the construction sector and the mining and quarrying industry showed positive growth due to activity related to the private sector. The deceleration was due to a slower pace of expansion in the other sectors of the economy alongside the reduction in activity associated with trade and manufacturing that decreased over the previous month.

On a month-on-month basis, economic activity in May increased 0.30% in seasonally-adjusted terms, which contrasted the 0.70% decrease recorded in April. Meanwhile, the overall trend inched downward; annual average growth in economic activity in May moderated to 4.7% from April’s 4.8%, its lowest level since July 2010.

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that the economy will grow 6.1% in 2015, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. The panel expects GDP to expand 6.4% in 2016.

Author:, Economist

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Panama Economic Activity Chart

Panama Economic Activity May 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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