Central American countries are ahead of the global pace when it comes to economic growth, having registered a regional growth rate of 4.1% in 2013. Global growth for the year was 3%, which is slightly higher than the growth experienced in 2008 prior to the global financial crisis. The numbers come as good news to the region, even despite the slight slowdown, when compared to the 2012 growth rate of 5.2%. Panama leads the region with a 8.4% growth rate.
Exports out of the region took a slight hit, declining 1.7%, while intraregional trade grew to a value of US$8.59 billion—28.7% of total exports for Central American countries. The main type of products exported from the region include plastic manufactures, edible fruits, and oil and minerals. Principal trade partners for the region were China, the United States, Germany, and Japan.
Source: La Secretaría de Integración Económica Centroamericana — http://www.sieca.int/Documentos/DocumentosMostrar.aspx?SegmentoId=3&DocumentoId=5051