Panama’s economic outlook for 2024 upgraded

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By LatAm Reports Staff Writers

The Panamanian economy unofficially registered a growth of 7.3% in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2023.

Panama’s economic projections for 2024 have improved because the situation of the Canal has varied for the better, as well as the confidence generated by the elected government. 

Even Panama economists expect growth to be between 3.5% and 4%, which represents a moderate percentage.

In this sense, the economist and professor, Reyes Artuto Valverde Batista, explains that the fundamental activity of the Panamanian economy is the channel, and if this waterway continues to contribute to more than 4.5 billion dollars, which is in the order of what will be this year, despite the crisis due to water, the activity of the rest of the economy and the sectors in which it impacts it will have a condition of moderate growth.

He stresses that this is not as successful as previous years, but it is much better than those projected by international organizations.

“The projections regarding the fall in the mining’s export earnings are not going to affect so much, because the mining industry is not in Panama, the one that makes the equipment and infrastructure and so on is in other countries, they if they are resented by the impact of not exporting copper from Panama. Undoubtedly the economy is in moderate terms,” says the economist.

Valverde Batista points out that growth will be between 3 and 4%, this allows the new government, with the visions that are indicating that they are stability, confidence and the head of the designated MEF there is stability.

“It will have a stable five-year projection, a guarantee of an economic process that must have an impact on the population as is normally done.”

He adds that Panama, having a geographical and maritime gate, which is the fort, achieves stability and is possible to grow more in the next five years.

For his part, economist René Bracho recalls that the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC) has already adjusted its growth projection for Panama to 3%, before it was 2%, and other international institutions have also proposed that the Panamanian economy will grow.

He stresses that the review of historical reports reveal that Panama has always grown in electoral years, despite the fact that this projection is moderate.

“These are positive expectations and we believe it will give growth, but it is necessary to meet a number of challenges, such as job creation and cash flow adjustment in public finances to pay debts.

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The Panamanian economy unofficially registered a growth of 7.3% in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2023.

ECLAC, in its first report, estimated that the region will grow by an average of 2.1 per cent this year, with South America growing by 1.6 per cent, Central America and Mexico 2.7 per cent and the Caribbean (excluding Guyana) by 2.8 per cent.

During 2024, global markets will be marked by several risk factors, ECLAC says. Rising geopolitical tensions are leading the world to a strong realignment of value chains.

In addition, there is a risk that increases in commodity prices could delay lower policy interest rates by major central banks, with negative effects on global economic growth.

This article has been translated after first appearing in Panamerican