PANAMA ECONOMY INSIGHT MONITOR

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Telecommunications helped to prevent contraction of Panama GDP in 2009


Despite global economic downturn affected sharply to world shipping industry, Panama Canal net tonnage fell by only 2.3% from January to November of 2009 due to sudden increase in dry bulk segment. Nevertheless, Panama port container movement decreased by 9.2%, according to information published by Comptroller in January on its website. Panama Canal Railway fell by 25% in 2009. Transit passenger of the international air hub grew 19% from January to November of 2009; however, number of tourist fell 5% in the same period.

Despite contraction experienced by Panama Canal, ports and passengers air transport, value added of the “transport, warehousing and telecommunication” sector grew by 8.2% from January to September of 2009, due to unexpected boom of telecommunications. “Transport, warehousing and telecommunication” sector represents 21.4% of GDP. Telecommunication sector contribution to “Transport, warehousing and telecommunication”sector was 32.2% in 2008 meanwhile Panama Canal, air hub and ports contributed to this sector by only 22.1%, 13.8% and 10.4% respectively in the same year, according to General Comptroller of the Republic of Panama. Therefore, telecommunications, among other consumption sectors, helped to prevent the contraction of the Panama GDP.

www.panamaeconomyinsight.com.pa forecasts that the Panama Canal net tonnage and container movements will grow by 3.2% and 15.9% in 2010 respectively. This forecast is higher than the Panama Canal Authority forecast.

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