Panama: Economic growth roughly stable at 6.2% in Q3
December 15, 2014
The economy expanded 6.2% in Q3 over the same quarter of the previous year. While the result came in just below the 6.3% growth registered in Q2, it suggests that growth has stabilized. The 5.8% rise tallied in Q1, which marked the weakest result since 2009, had sparked concerns about a potentially deeper slowdown, but the economy now appears to be on a steady growth path.
The expansion in Q3 was driven by growth in several areas of the economy, particular in the services sector. Real estate expanded 11.5% (Q2: +11.9% year-on-year) and retail increased 5.4% (Q2: +4.4% yoy). Growth in the financial services sector, which has become an important pillar of the economy, picked up from a 2.0% rise in Q2 to a 3.8% increase in Q3. Growth in transport, storage and communications—which accounts for roughly 20% of economic output—reached 4.5%, which was down from the 6.8% increase recorded in Q2. Meanwhile, construction growth expanded 16.9% (Q2: +14.8% yoy), and mining and quarrying was up 14.7% (Q2: +11.6% yoy). Stronger growth rates in the two latter categories comes as positive news after the slowdown in activities linked to the Panama Canal expansion project earlier this year.
Author: Carl Kelly, Economist