Panama: Economic activity stutters in February
April 28, 2015
In February, the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMAE, Indice Mensual de Actividad Economica) expanded 4.7% over the same month last year, which was below than the 5.9% growth tallied in January and marked the slowest growth rate in nine months. According to the National Comptroller’s Office, the increase in February was driven by growth in several sectors of the economy, including transport, warehousing and communications, fishing, financial services and tourism. Meanwhile, the construction sector and the mining and quarrying industry showed positive growth despite the ongoing slowdown in work related to the Panama Canal expansion project. In contrast, the commerce and manufacturing sectors declined in February.
On a month-on-month basis, economic activity in February decreased 1.03% in seasonally-adjusted terms, which was much greater than the 0.11% decline recorded in January. Meanwhile, the overall trend moderated slightly; annual average growth in economic activity decreased from 5.0% in January to 4.9% in February, which marked the lowest reading in more than four years.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist