Panama Economic Activity December 2017


Panama: Growth in economic activity moderates slightly in December

February 21, 2018

The monthly indicator for economic activity (IMAE, Índice Mensual de Actividad Económica) moderated slightly from November’s 4.2% expansion to 4.0% in December, a four-month low. In cumulative terms, economic activity expanded 5.2% annually in the January–December period (January–December 2016: +4.4% year-on-year).

According to the National Comptroller’s Office, December’s print came on the back of expansions in all but one component of the index. Commerce, transportation, warehousing, and communications and construction expanded at the sharpest pace.

Growth in commerce was supported by an increase in wholesale trade and economic activity in the Colon Free Trade Zone, while the expansion in transportation, warehousing and communications, which includes growth in the Panama Canal, ports, and the aviation sector, was driven by increased cargo tonnage in the Panama Canal and Panamanian ports. Financial intermediation, real estate activities and legal services also expanded in December but at a softer pace, while fishing was the only component that declined.

On a month-on-month basis, growth in economic activity came in at 0.1% in December, moderating from November’s 0.6% increase.

Panama GDP Forecast

FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists see the economy growing 5.4% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast. The panel expects GDP to expand 5.7% in 2019.

Author: Jean-Philippe Pourcelot, Economist

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Panama Economic Activity Chart

Panama Economic Activity December 2017

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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