Panama: GDP growth plunges in Q4
Growth moderated in the fourth quarter, with GDP increasing 16.3% on an annual basis according to a preliminary estimate (Q3: +25.5% year-on-year).
The services sector grew 13.8% year-on-year in the final quarter, decelerating from the third quarter’s 21.2% increase and marking the slowest growth since Q1 2021. Looking at service subsectors, growth decelerated markedly in hotels and restaurants, retail trade, transportation and real estate. In addition, the industrial sector lost steam, growing 32.4% in Q4 (Q3: +64.6% yoy), due to much slower growth in mining production and a slight slowdown in manufacturing output. Meanwhile, the agricultural sector rebounded, growing 6.9% in Q4, contrasting the 0.4% decrease recorded in the prior quarter, thanks to a rebound in fishing activity.
Moving on to Q1 of this year, ad-hoc data suggests firming domestic demand, as both new vehicles and fuel sales grew markedly in January. Moreover, transportation is also benefiting from intensifying transit in the Panama Canal.