The Comptroller General of the Republic issued a statement in which it explained that in the first semester from January to June of this year, the coronavirus and the global economic crisis it unleashed impacted the economic activity of Panama, which contracted by -18.9% , compared with the same period of 2019.
However, the logistics and financial infrastructure has not deteriorated and Panama, unlike other countries in the region, they explain.
They indicate that Panama maintains its investment grade due to the confidence of risk rating agencies that the country’s recovery will be much faster compared to other economies also affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Panama, during the first semester of 2020, relevant activities have sustained the performance of the national economy and marked a positive dynamic, such as: government services, private health services and agricultural activity ”.
In the first half of 2020, government services grew 8.4%, with an accumulated growth due to the hiring of collaborators in the health sector, necessary to address the health crisis; private health services with growth in these six months of 3.6%, while agricultural activity showed an increase of 4.3%, highlighting in a relevant way the cultivation of bananas with 43.0% and the production of eggs in 8.9% and less measure the cultivation of legumes with 2.5%.
Other activities related to the rest of the world that showed increases were: port services; rice and corn in the agricultural sector, fishing and within the exploitation of mines and quarries, the export of copper concentrate.
The figures generated by the INEC are published at a time when the country is experiencing a gradual reopening of blocks that will contribute to the national economic reactivation, including the rise of new operations such as electronic commerce and home delivery service, as a result of adaptation of supply and demand in the face of a new reality.
“The negative impact between January and June was reflected in the decrease in operations or the total closure of activities that impacted the Panama Canal, the Colon Free Zone, air transport, personal services, commerce, construction, hotels, restaurants, services business, manufacturing industry, electricity, education and financial intermediation ”.
The published figures of the Quarterly Gross Domestic Product of the main Central Banks and Statistical Institutes of the region demonstrate the adverse effect of the health emergency resulting from the outbreak of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).
The accumulated impact in the same period for the United States was -19.0%, for Colombia it was -7.5% and for Costa Rica it was -4.1%, among others, with significant drops, mainly in the second quarter of the year, which marks a drop in widespread economic activity.
As in Panama, these institutions support economic behavior due to the effect of the global pandemic and the actions taken by their governments in matters of public health, such as mobility restrictions and total quarantine.