In the News from Panama

Panama Confident of Economic Rebound

Panama’s economy is poised for a sharp comeback, according to a new poll of Panamanian consumers.

The Panamanian Consumer Confidence Index rose 35 points since June, a 46 percent increase, La Estrella reports. Consumers’ expectations of the economic situation went from 89 points in June to 113 points in September, a 27 percent increase. 

The index reflects a survey of consumers conducted by the Marketing Group, on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (CCIAP). It aims to measure their perception of the current and future economic situation of the country, as well as the quality of life.

The report cautions that any sign of optimism is based on news that Panama is starting to reopen, and any number below 100 is still considered pessimistic. But the rising confidence illustrates that Panama’s economy is based on strong fundamentals and not speculation. People fully expect Panama to recover and start rolling again, once COVID-19 is under control.

The survey is based on the measurement of four indicators for the next twelve months: household, country, unemployment, and savings. In terms of saving money, the index increased to 80 points, a 25 point jump from June. The survey also showed an increasingly positive outlook toward unemployment and other economic factors.

The consumer confidence index “reflects results that still remain at levels of distrust, but perception improves in view of the expectation for the reopening of companies,” says Domingo Barrios, general manager of The Marketing Group. “The Index remains below 100 points, as a result of the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and employment.”

The CCIAP has presented this index since 2001. For the latest survey, more than 700 Panamanians were interviewed.