Panama: GDP growth plunges in Q3 amid less favorable base effect
December 17, 2021
According to a preliminary estimate, GDP growth waned to 26.2% year-on-year in the third quarter, from 40.4% in the second quarter. Notably, the print was muddled by a less favorable base effect. Indeed, while in the second quarter GDP was at 86.1% of its 2019 level, in Q3 it reached 96.5%.
The all-important services sector grew 20.9% annually in the third quarter, picking up from the second quarter's 19.4% increase. However, the industrial sector lost steam, growing 63.8% in Q3 (Q2: +162.3% yoy). This more than offset services growth and thus weighed on the print, mainly due to a slowdown in construction activity. That said, manufacturing industries performed well, surpassing 2019’s production levels. Meanwhile, agricultural sector growth waned to 0.8% in Q3, from 7.3% in the prior quarter.
Moving on to Q4, the latest release shows that economic activity continued to lose momentum as the favorable base effect continued to fade. That said, the print shows that manufacturing industries continued to grow.
Author: Frederico Teixeira de Abreu, Junior Economist