Panama: Economic growth expands at fastest pace in three years in Q2
September 15, 2011
The economy continues to gain momentum despite slowing growth in the United States. In the second quarter, the economy expanded 11.4% over the same quarter the year before, faster than the 9.3% rise registered in the first quarter. In fact, the pace of economic expansion was the fastest since Q2 2008 when economic growth reached its pre-crisis peak of 13.1%. The acceleration over the previous period reflected faster growth in services. In particular, commerce picked up and accelerated from a 7.8% expansion in the first quarter to a 15.2% increase in the second. Transport and logistics remained stable and added 15.1% in the second quarter (Q1: +15.2% year-on-year). Moreover, finance grew 12.9% in the second quarter (Q1: +7.8% yoy), while construction added 19.2% (Q1: +15.6% yoy). As a result, the services sector expanded 14.4% in the second quarter following an 11.3% rise recorded in the first. Manufacturing added 3.5% in the second quarter (Q1: +2.8% yoy) while agriculture rebounded from a 0.7% contraction in the first quarter to a 5.7% expansion in the second. The government expects the economy to grow 9.0% in 2011 and 7.0% in 2012.