PANAMA’S ECONOMY is forecast to grow 5.8% in 2017, the envy of much of the world says the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF).
The Ministry reported that the country's economic growth (GDP) estimate is driven by dynamism in construction, mining and quarrying, financial services and electricity, gas and water supply.
Raul Moreira, director of Economic and Social Analysis of the MEF, said at a Monday Feb 20 press conference that MEF’s estimate matches the forecast of the IMF that puts it at 5.8%. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) projected growth of y 5.9% and the World Bank 5.4%.
The MEF's estimate of economic growth in the country is also based on the recovery of the Panama Canal activity and an aggressive public and private investment program.
The Ministry included as a basis for its forecast a recovery of the economies of Latin America. In this scenario, the Panamanian economy will continue to exceed the growth rate of the Latin American average, estimated by ECLAC at 1.3%.
The continuation of public investment projects such as the Fourth Bridge over the Canal ($570 million) and the construction of the Metro Line 2 of the capital will help the dynamism of the economy.
In the private sector, projects such as the First Generation Power Plant based on natural gas (Colón), with an investment of $1.15 billion and the $5,95 billion. By Minera Panamá, in the Cobre Panamá project (Colón) In addition.
Moreira, said that in the coming months Panama will continue to increase energy generation with renewable sources (wind and solar) lowering costs in the use of fossil fuels, which will contribute added value, to the national electricity system.
Moreira sais that it is important that the Panamanian economy maintains its sustained growth and with low levels of inflation for the benefit of the lower income sectors.