In the News from Panama

New Data Shows Strength of Panama Economy

Panama’s economy continued to post strong numbers through May, even as the COVID pandemic impacted markets around the world, new data shows.

The Panama Canal and the strength of the logistics continued to power the economy, which showed growth in several key sectors compared to a year earlier. While the data only reflects activity through the first five months of the year, it illustrates the resilient nature of Panama’s economy, which is expected to bounce back quickly once the country reopens.

Total toll revenue for the Panama Canal from January through May was up 2.5 percent compared to the same period of 2019, according to the government’s Main Monthly Economic Indicators (PIEM). Transit of Neo Panamax vessels was up 12.0%; while there were also a 1.5 percent increase in net tons and a 5.9 percent jump in cargo volume. The amount of TEU containers increased for this period by 15.9 percent, La Estrella reports. Overall, the movement of total cargo was up 21.8 percent.

Panama exports were also up, with total goods increasing 3.1 percent, led by bananas and cattle. Overall, activity in ports was up 13.5 percent, measured in metric tons, with increases of 12.3 percent on the Pacific Coast of 12.3 percent and 19.8 percent in the Atlantic. Meanwhile, sales of marine fuel were also up.

Other parts of the economy showed solid results, despite the impact of the pandemic. Bank deposits and liquid assets of the National Banking System were also up from a year ago, the report showed.

While the pandemic is sure to send the leading indicators down for the current period, the results show the strength of Panama’s economy, which is built on a strong foundation of trade and logistics.