The IMF is projecting Panama’s economic growth to surpass 6% this year, once again ranking it among the fastest expanding economies in the world.
Panama’s economy grew by 5.8% in 2015, outpacing many economic powerhouses around the world. This is a slow showing for the country, the slowest in five years, including several years of double-digit growth. Average annual growth was 7.5% between 2006 and 2015.
Panama’s continued economic expansion is credited to investments in energy, infrastructure and logistics, and the expansion of the Panama Canal. An increase of 6% to 7% is nonetheless a sharp contrast to the global economy, which is predicted to grow only 3.4% in 2016 and 3.6% in 2017.
IMF division chief for Latin America and the Caribbean Valerie Cerra told reporters that Panama’s strong economic fundamentals, low inflation rate, and stable financial system should protect the country from the adverse factors impacting the rest of the world. “While uncertainty in the external environment entails risks, Panama has strong defenses to counter any negative external shocks that may arise,” Cerra said.