PANAMA. Panama's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2. 4 percent in the first 6 months of 2009 says a report issued by the Comptrollers ...
PANAMA. Panama's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2. 4 percent in the first 6 months of 2009 says a report issued by the Comptrollers office.
Although most of the areas of the country's economy grew, the growth is mainly due to a surge in the telecommunications industry.
The first six months of 2009 brought them a 8.8 percent rise.
Carlos Vallarino, Panama's Comptroller, said the sector is being pumped by cellphone purchases, increased sales of phone cards, international calls and internet connections.
The industries leading the way in the first half of 2009 are mine and quarry exploitation (up 13.1 percent), construction (12.4 percent), cargo and storage (7.8 percent), water and electricity supply (5.7 percent) and private education (5.6 percent).
Blamed on the global crisis was the 12.4 percent decrease of the agriculture sector and the 8.2 percent fall in the retail section.
The numbers in this latest report are proof Panama’s economy is growing steadily said the Finance Minister, Alberto Vallarino. “ We are in a good position, even better than Colombia, Peru and Chile,” he said.
The Colon Duty Free Zone (ZLC) has dramatically lost momentum. The report shows a 25.6 percent decrease in activity.
“I don't think they will hold that to justify their resistance to tax adjustments,” said Vallarino.
In sum, the GDP now totals $9.4 billion.
The growth allows the economy cabinet of the new government to keep the 3 percent growth expectations.