Production of goods and services in Panama saw an increase of 7.5 percent over the previous year.
GDP at constant value of 1996 prices, according to INEC estimates, registered $ 20,862.9 million, showing an annual increase of $ 1.448.8 million.
The growth is explained by the recovery of international economies, affecting the behavior of economic activities related to external sectors. Among these activities we find: ports, air transport, tourism, trade at the Colon Free Zone as well as bananas and pineapple exports. On the other hand, contributions by the Panama Canal and melon and watermelon exports showed decreases.
The domestic sector showed growth in the following activities: cattle and poultry, mining, construction, electricity and water, retail, restaurants and hotels, passenger and cargo transportation, shipping, telecommunications, education, private health, community services and household services.
The GDP over the fourth quarter showed a positive trend of 8.7 percent compared to the same period last year.
The country's economy grew a remarkable 2.5%, fueled mostly by the construction industry and domestic demand.
On the other side, agriculture was one of the sectors most affected by the crisis, specially by the drop in foreign demand, and by losing a series of tariff benefits under the European SGS-Plus system.
The value of construction, repair, and extension permits approved during the first half of the year was at $829.8 million.
Most of the investments are located in the district of Panama, with $675 million (58.5% more than the year before); this is followed by Arraijan, which, with $44 million, had the biggest increase in the country (161.3%).
Global Economic Slump Challenges Policies. World growth is projected to fall to ½ percent in 2009, its lowest rate since World War II.
Despite wide-ranging policy actions, financial strains remain acute, pulling down the real economy. A sustained economic recovery will not be possible until the financial sector's functionality is restored and credit markets are unclogged.
In February, inter-annual economic growth reached 2.9%, while the International Monetary Fund projected 4.3% for 2011.
Someone is wrong: either the IMF or reality. But the latter is the perception also shared by most economic agents in the country. If there isn't substantial change, IMF projections will miss by a large margin.
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