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Panama: Economy#

Panama's dollar-based economy rests primarily on a well-developed services sector that accounts for more than three-quarters of GDP. Services include operating the Panama Canal, logistics, banking, the Colon Free Zone, insurance, container ports, flagship registry, and tourism. Economic growth will be bolstered by the Panama Canal expansion project that began in 2007 and is estimated to be completed by 2015 at a cost of $5.3 billion - about 10-15% of current GDP. The expansion project will more than double the Canal's capacity, enabling it to accommodate ships that are too large to traverse the existing canal. The United States and China are the top users of the Canal. Panama is also constructing a metro system in Panama City, valued at $1.2 billion and scheduled to be completed by 2014. Panama's booming transportation and logistics services sectors, along with aggressive infrastructure development projects, have lead the economy to continued high growth in 2012. Foreign investment, at around 10% of GDP in both 2011 and 2012, has continued to be a source of growth. Strong economic performance has not translated into broadly shared prosperity, as Panama has the second worst income distribution in Latin America. About one-fourth of the population lives in poverty; however, from 2006 to 2012 poverty was reduced by 10 percentage points, while unemployment dropped from 12% to 4.5% of the labor force in 2013. The US-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement was approved by Congress and signed into law in October 2011, and entered into force in October 2012. Panama also achieved removal from the Organization of Economic Development's gray-list of tax havens by signing various double taxation treaties with other nations.

Economic Facts#

GDP (purchasing power parity)$61.54 billion (2013 est.)
$57.24 billion (2012 est.)
$51.72 billion (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - real growth rate7.5% (2013 est.)
10.7% (2012 est.)
10.8% (2011 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$16,500 (2013 est.)
$15,700 (2012 est.)
$14,400 (2011 est.)
note: data are in 2013 US dollars
GDP - composition, by sector of originagriculture: 3.7%
industry: 17.9%
services: 78.4% (2013 est.)
Population below poverty line26% (2012 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 1.1%
highest 10%: 40.1% (2010 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 17%
industry: 18.6%
services: 64.4% (2009 est.)
Exports - commoditiesgold, bananas, shrimp, sugar, iron and steel waste, pineapples, watermelons
Exports - partnersUS 20.2%, Canada 14.6%, Costa Rica 6.6%, Netherlands 5.9%, Sweden 4.8%, China 4.1%, Italy 4% (2012)
Agriculture - productsbananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables; livestock; shrimp
Budgetrevenues: $10.33 billion
expenditures: $11.38 billion (2013 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfuel products, medicines, vehicles, iron and steel rods, cellular phones
Imports - partnersUS 23.6%, China 6.4%, Costa Rica 4.6%, Mexico 4.4% (2012)
Exchange ratesbalboas (PAB) per US dollar -
1 (2013 est.)
1 (2012 est.)
1 (2010 est.)
1 (2009)
1 (2008)
Exports$18.87 billion (2013 est.)
$18.88 billion (2012 est.)
note: includes the Colon Free Zone
Debt - external$15.22 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$13.56 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
Imports$26.61 billion (2013 est.)
$24.61 billion (2012 est.)
note: includes the Colon Free Zone
Industrial production growth rate9.2% (2013 est.)
Industriesconstruction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling
Inflation rate (consumer prices)4.1% (2013 est.)
5.7% (2012 est.)
Labor force1.54 million
note: shortage of skilled labor, but an oversupply of unskilled labor (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate4.5% (2013 est.)
4.4% (2012 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index51.9 (2010 est.)
56.1 (2003)
Public debt39.8% of GDP (2013 est.)
39.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Current account balance-$5.064 billion (2013 est.)
-$3.267 billion (2012 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.666 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$2.466 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$40.62 billion (2013 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$32.89 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$29.27 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$3.233 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$3.11 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$12.54 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$10.68 billion (31 December 2011)
$8.348 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rateNA% (31 December 2013 est.)
6.91% (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of domestic credit$35.57 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$32.27 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of narrow money$8.976 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
$7.659 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Stock of broad money$29.72 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$25.73 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Taxes and other revenues25.4% of GDP (2013 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-2.6% of GDP (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 57.6%
government consumption: 13.1%
investment in fixed capital: 30.3%
investment in inventories: 0.9%
exports of goods and services: 81%
imports of goods and services: -82.9%
(2013 est.)