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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.

The government expects economic growth to reach 7.0% in 2014 and 6.5% in 2015. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists project that the economy will grow 6.3% in 2014, which is down 0.3 percentage points from last month’s forecast. For 2015, the panel expects GDP to expand 6.0%, which is down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s projection.


Author:, Economist

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Panama GDP Q314

Note: Year-on-year changes of GDP in %.
Source: National Comptroller’s Office and FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast


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