Panama: Economic Activity Still Down

In January of this year, the Monthly Index of Economic Activity reported a 15% year-on-year drop, which is similar to the behavior recorded from March to December 2020, a period in which the pandemic severely affected productive activities.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

This index contracted considerably, due to the effects of the Covid-19 health emergency. Among the economic sectors that were affected were: Hotels and restaurants, other community, social and personal service activities, construction, commerce, financial intermediation, manufacturing industries, electricity and water, real estate, business and rental activities, and transportation, storage and communications, among others, according to the Comptroller General's Office of the Republic.

According to official estimates, some activities particularly registered positive results, such as: the export of copper ore and its derivatives, fish and fish fillet (fresh, refrigerated and frozen), renewable electricity generation, Canal tolls, telecommunications, container movement of the National Port System TEU, production of milk and its derivatives, as well as private health services.

According to a CentralAmericaData analysis, in this context of health crisis, Panama is the economy that at regional level shows the most damage, since in May 2020 the fall in economic activity exceeded 31%, and although in the following months production recovered dynamism, at the beginning of 2021 production is still depressed.

Check out the "System for monitoring markets and the economic situation in Central American countries", prepared by CentralAmericaData.

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The drop in production is explained by the performance of activities that were affected by the emergence of the covid-19 pandemic in March 2020, a situation that lasted for the rest of the year.

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) valued at constant 2007 prices registered, according to calculations of the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), an amount of $35,308.7 million, which corresponded to a decrease of $7,724.1 million, according to an official report.

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Due to the crisis generated by the covid-19, in May 2020 the economic activity registered its worst decline by falling 31% in year-on-year terms, however, as of June minor decreases were reported and in September the drop was 22%.

The accumulated Monthly Index of Economic Activity (IMAE) from January to September 2020 registered a 18.3% decrease, compared to the same period in 2019, informed the General Comptroller of the Republic.

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July 2020

During April 2020 the Monthly Index of Economic Activity in the country reported a 35% year-on-year variation, a fall that is explained by the restrictions imposed following the outbreak of covid-19.

The most affected activities were: Construction, Hotels and Restaurants, Commerce, Manufacturing Industry, Other community, social and personal service activities, among others.