Panama: Economic activity moderates at the start of the year
March 26, 2012
In January, the economy expanded 7.7% over the same month last year, which was below the 10.2% increase recorded in December, according to the monthly indicator for economic activity (IMAE, indice Mensual de Actividad Economica). The transportation, storage and communication and construction sectors were the biggest drivers behind the expansion. A month-on-month analysis, however, does not corroborate the slowdown suggested by annual figures, as economic activity increased 0.89% in seasonally adjusted terms, which nearly tripled December's 0.32% rise. As a result of the slower growth in January, annual average growth in economic activity inched down from 9.6% in December to 9.5%, thus ending the upward trend in place since April 2011. Growth in economic activity should remain strong going forward, fuelled by ongoing investment in a project that aims to double the capacity of the Panama Canal by 2014.