Economic Outlook for the New Year

Excluding Nicaragua, the economies of Central American countries are projected to increase 2%, however, for the business sector some of the expectations may be too optimistic.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The 5.6% growth estimate for Panama is too optimistic for the private sector, as no major changes are expected compared to 2018.

The president of the National Council of Private Enterprise, Severo Sousa, explained to Panamaamerica.com.pa that "... in general, no great changes are expected in terms of the economy for 2019, because it is an election year and once the new government is elected, it will have a few months of learning and with a defined budget."

On the other hand, Aida Michelle Maduro, president of the Association of Free Zones, said that "... a difficult year is expected, with several challenges to deal with, but with positive expectations."

In the case of Guatemala, the Survey of Economic Expectations carried out by the Central Bank up to December 2018, details that the Real Gross Domestic Product will register a 3.1% growth in 2019.

According to forecasts by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in 2019 Panama will be the economy with the highest growth in Central America, with an expected rate of 5.6%.

It would be followed by Honduras, with expected 3.6% GDP growth, Guatemala with 3%, Costa Rica with 2.9% and El Salvador, with a 2.4% increase. Only in Nicaragua is the economy expected to decline. According to ECLAC, GDP will fall by 2%.

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More on this topic

Guatemala: Growth Projections Improve

February 2019

The behavior of credit to the private sector, public spending, imports and remittances would explain the higher growth expected for the economy this year.

The Bank of Guatemala (Banguat) reported that this year's economic growth is projected to range between 3% and 3.8%, with a central value of 3.4%, up from the 3.1% reported during 2018.

Central America Towards 2019

December 2018

Higher domestic demand and increased investment are the factors that will influence the 3.3% growth forecast for the regional economy next year.

According to forecasts by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), in 2019 Panama will be the economy with the highest growth in Central America, with an expected rate of 5.6%.

Guatemala: 2019 Better Than 2018?

December 2018

The Bank of Guatemala expects next year's economic growth to be better than in 2018, which would be caused by higher public spending and the growth of family remittances.

Authorities of the Bank of Guatemala (Banguat) informed that the Guatemalan economy will close 2018 with a nearly 3% growth, however, for next year is expected that the increase in GDP will be in the range between 3% and 3.8%.

Economy in Freefall

August 2018

Due to the crisis that has been unfolding in the country since April, the ECLAC has reduced its growth projection for the Nicaraguan economy from 5% to 0.5% this year.

Laprensa.com.ni reports that "...Before the crisis, the ECLAC placed Nicaragua among the five Latin American economies with the highest growth for this year, with an expansion of GDP of 5% after having grown 4.9% in 2017."

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