Friday, January 28

Construction, mining, logistics and trade boosted the economic recovery of Panama in the first half of 2021

The economic activities of construction, mining, logistics such as the Panama Canal and ports, as well as wholesale and retail trade, report significant growth in their performance in the first half of 2021, boosting the increase of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country by 10%.

The Report of the National Institute of Statistics and Census (Inec) highlights that the exploitation of mines and quarries reported a growth of 178.3% in the first half of 2021. The Gross Value Added of this activity for the second quarter registered a significant increase of 728.3%, compared to the quarter of the previous year. Exports of copper minerals and their concentrates to the various international markets reached an amount of 81,686 tons produced in the quarter.

While a major driver of the economy, construction as a whole presented an increase of 10.5%, during the first six months of the year.

The activity presented during the second quarter a growth of 489.5%, due to the reactivation of public civil engineering works, as well as the construction of buildings, mainly those benefited with preferential interest, thus showing a progressive recovery of the sector that was severely impacted by the health crisis of COVID-19 that affects the country.

For its part, the logistics activity related to land, sea and air transport, storage and communications reflected a growth of 7.5% from January to June 2021. Its increase was registered mainly in the second semester reaching a Gross Value Added of 29.8% explained by the operations of the Panama Canal, ports, air transport, land passenger transport and telecommunications.

To the second trimester, The Panama Canal showed a positive variation, due to the increase in toll revenues by 20.2% (at current prices), and the services provided to ships in transit. The National Port System registered growth due to the increase in the movement of TEU’s containers by 17.0%, bulk cargo by 13.2% and general cargo by 222.2%.

For its part, air transport achieved a growth in its Gross Added Value in the compiled of April, May and June, associated with the reactivation of the sector and increase in the movement of passengers to the different destinations; meanwhile, the telecommunications activity had a growth, due to the increase in the demand of mobile telephony and internet.

Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, personal effects and household goods, was not far behind. As a whole, presented an increase of 6.6%, during the first semester.

Commercial activities increased their contribution to Gross Value Added by 23.9% for the second quarter 2021. The wholesale trade showed a positive behavior in the volume of sales of fuels, food, beverages and tobacco, personal effects and various products. For its part, the retail trade showed an increase, due to the increase in sales of food and beverages, pharmaceutical products, motor vehicles, maintenance and repair.

Wholesale activities in the Colon Free Zone registered an increase in re-exports de products of the chemical industries, electrical machines and appliances; and apparatus for recording or reproducing image and sound, their parts and accessories.