In the News from Panama

IMF Boosts Panama Economic Forecast

Another leading global economic agency has upped its growth forecast for Panama’s economy, citing the country’s strength across a wide variety of market sectors.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), one of the bellwethers of the global financial world, announced that it expects Panama’s economy to grow by 6%, instead of the previously forecast 5%. The upward revision is the product of the strong growth reported in its monthly activity index, which showed an 8% increase in July compared to a year earlier, according to coverage in La Prensa.

The data continues to show that Panama’s economy is strong, reflecting a broad foundation that has helped the country avoid the post-COVID slowdown that is impacting most parts of the world. A few weeks ago, Panama’s Ministry of Economy and Finance announced the economy is “robust” and performing better than expected.

The government reports economic strength in commerce, construction, tourism, banking, insurance, transportation, and electricity. This is a sharp contrast to perceptions that Pana’s economy is focused on the Panama Canal. International business and several large-scale, long-term infrastructure projects are helping drive the economy, creating an environment where the country can thrive, no matter the international conditions.

Panama is continuing to outperform the rest of Latin America, which is experiencing a marked decline in economic activity, according to the latest IMF report, Economic Outlook: The Americas report for October 2023. Latin America will show only 1.6% growth in 2023, compared to 4% in 2022.

In the rest of the region, “the price pressures that accompanied buoyant economic activity last year appear to have already peaked, but underlying inflation remains persistently high, disproportionately hurting low-income households,” the IMF reports.