PANAMA'S GDP continues to lead the region and remains the envy of much of the world. according to a report by the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC) of the Office of the Comptroller General,
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 5.8% in the first half of this year, compared to the same period last year.
"The Panamanian economy is growing despite the slowdown and even recession of our main Latin American markets, largely due to the expansion of the canal and the growth of related activities, such as the ports," said economist and INEC Director David Saied. According to the economic growth was driven mainly by the 12.6% increase in the Transport, Storage, and Communications category, which includes a 19.7% increase in tolls in the Panama Canal, a positive variation of 13.4% of container movement in ports and a 24.1% increase in air transport. The growth of this item in the semester represented $325.7 million.
Commerce is the economic category that has the greatest weight, with 16.8% of total GDP. This item reached $3,213.billion at June 30, 2017, and had a recovery of 4.7% in the period under review. This increase represented an additional contribution to GDP of $143.9 million.
The construction sector grew 8.1% in the first half, which is equivalent to an additional contribution of $225.5 million to the Gross Domestic Product. Construction is the second most important category of GDP.
In addition, INEC reported the following growth in the first half: Banking and Finance (Financial Intermediation) 3.1%; Real Estate, Legal Services and others, 3.5%; Manufacturing industry, 2.1%; and the Agricultural Sector 0.2%.
The Panamanian economy leads the region, according to projections by the International Monetary Fund.