Country Report Panama March 1998 Main report

Economy: GDP growth accelerated in 1997

The economy expanded by 4.4% in 1997 -- close to double the 2.3% average since 1985 and the highest rate since the growth surge of the early 1990s. The expansion was primarily due to the recovery in exports (non-CFZ sales were up 14.6% in dollar terms) and the strength of investment.

Gross domestic product by sector (% change on year earlier) 1996 1997 Agriculture & fishing 0.5 10.2 Manufacturing 0.7 3.6 Electricity & water 19.7 3.4 Construction -4.1 5.0 Commerce -1.2 8.8 Hotel & restaurants 6.0 5.4 Transport, storage, & communication 2.7 4.5 Financial intermediation 10.0 3.3 Real estate 3.1 2.5 Private education 3.9 5.5 Health & social services -0.7 0.9 Public services 1.8 3.8 Domestic services -5.7 4.4 GDP incl others 2.4 4.4 Source: Ministerio de Planificacion y Politica Economica (MIPPE).

The sectoral breakdown below shows particularly good performance by agriculture and a marked upturn in manufacturing growth; other data reveal a 15.7% rise in the value of total trade at the CFZ (after the contraction registered in 1996) and a 7.4% increase in tourist spending.

© 1998 The Economist lntelligence Unit Ltd. All rights reserved
Whilst every effort has been taken to verify the accuracy of this information, The Economist lntelligence Unit Ltd. cannot accept any responsibility or liability for reliance by any person on this information
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