Thursday, November 29, 2012
Despite slower economic growth in September 2012 reported by the Government of Panama, the country is still poised for double digit growth in 2012 overall.
Panama's economic growth slowed to 7.8 percent in September compared with the same month last year, the government's statistics office said on Wednesday. Economic growth in September 2011 was 8.3 percent. The indicator measures the overall activity of Panama's economy in such sectors as services, manufacturing and utilities and is a rough proxy for quarterly gross domestic product data.
Growth in September continued to be led by gains in the construction and mining sectors, the result of significant government infrastructure projects. Panama has seen double-digit economic growth over the past few years, expanding 10.5 percent in 2011 with similar expectations for 2012.
Much of the growth is due to heavy spending on public works, including the $5.25 billion expansion of the Panama Canal and the construction of a $1.25 billion metro system.
In September, the hotel, restaurant and slot machine industries also performed well due to a rise in tourism, as did the transportation sector, mainly because of the movement of containers through ports.
The agricultural sector showed some gains in cattle and poultry farming, as well as watermelon and pineapple exports. However, Panama's manufacturing sector - including metals, plastics and textiles - showed declines, as did the fishing industry. Between January and September, the economy grew 9.5 percent compared with the same period in 2011.