Panama: Momentum continues in fourth quarter
March 1, 2011
In the fourth quarter, the economy grew a resilient 8.7% over the same quarter the year before, which represented an improvement over the 8.3% rise registered in the third quarter (previously reported: +8.4% year-on-year). In the full year 2010, GDP accelerated to 7.5%, up from 3.2% in 2009. The acceleration over the previous period was the result of a pick-up in the industrial sector, which benefited from buoyant growth in the construction sector. Construction accelerated to 10.9% in the fourth quarter (Q3: +7.3% yoy), while mining and quarrying picked up from 6.3% in Q3 to 9.8% in Q4. As a result, the industrial sector accelerated to 4.2% in the fourth quarter following on a 3.2% rise recorded in the third. Meanwhile, services decelerated slightly and added 11.3% in the fourth quarter, down from a 12.0% increase in Q3 but continued to be buttressed by a strong performance in transport and logistics (Q4: +14.5% yoy; Q3: +18.4% yoy) and commerce (Q4: +12.0% yoy; Q3: +9.8% yoy). Finally, the primary sector remained in negative territory for the fourth consecutive quarter, contracting 19.8% year-on-year, with the fishing sector declining an extraordinary 53.0% (Q3: -51.6% yoy) in the wake of lower marine products exports.