Country Analysts

Marco Fernandez
Former Economic Advisor, Ministry of Planning

In The News


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Recent Country Insights

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The 2018 results are in
PANAMA - In Brief 01 Mar 2019
Economic ActivityAccording to the figures published today by the Comptroller General, real GDP grew 3.7% during 2018. Our estimate was 3.8% for the year. The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and some international organizations estimated growth at 4.2%. This result confirms the slowdown that...

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We expect solid growth for 2019: Copper exports and private investment will be the engines
PANAMA - Forecast 01 Mar 2019
Our GDP growth rate estimate for 2018 (3.8%) was lower than the government´s and that of several international organizations (above 5% on average). The official figures for the complete year will be published during the first week of March, in addition to the balance of payments results. The ...

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The Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Authority elected Ricaurte Vásquez as the new Administrator (CEO) of the agency and Ilya Espino de Marotta as his Deputy
PANAMA - In Brief 15 Feb 2019
The Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Authority elected Ricaurte Vásquez as the new Administrator (CEO) of the agency and Ilya Espino de Marotta as his Deputy.Ricaurte Vásquez is the new CEO of the ACP, appointed unanimously by the eleven-member Board of Directors, for a period of seven year...

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February flash: MEF complies with deficit ceiling and important Panama Canal Authority news
PANAMA - In Brief 11 Feb 2019
Fiscal PerformanceAccording to the Ministry of Economy and Finance’s (MEF) latest publication, the deficit of the non-financial public sector (NFPS) represented 2% of GDP for fiscal year 2018, thus barely hitting the ceiling of the Fiscal Social Responsibility law (FSRL). In November, we estimate...

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World Youth Day 2019 and the new government's to-do list
PANAMA - Report 23 Jan 2019
This is Francisco’s week. The Argentinian Pope will arrive at Tocumen Airport on January 23 for a three-day visit to preside over the World Youth Day ("JMJ" in Spanish), an event that occurs every three years in a different city of the world; it was last held in Krakow, Poland in 2016 and drew th...

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Official date confirm our estimations of deceleration
PANAMA - Report 26 Dec 2018
According to data published by the Comptroller's General Office last week, real GDP grew 3.6% in Q3 and 3.6% from January to September. In YTD terms, growth was driven by transportation and communications, commerce, health and social services, realty and services to business, financial intermedia...

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Q3 fiscal results: a sign of things to come
PANAMA - Report 26 Nov 2018
The Fiscal Responsibility Law was amended to allow the NFPS to raise the ceiling of the net deficit to 2% of GDP at the end of 2018, up from 1% set in the previous version. The results through September suggest that even the new ceiling will be difficult to attain. The fiscal balance of the NFPS ...

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Panama: The Presidential race is on
PANAMA - In Brief 29 Oct 2018
This Sunday, two parties held their primaries: the incumbent Panameñista Party and the hard-liner leftist Frente Amplio por la Democracia (FAD). The major of Panama City, José I. Blandón defeated by an ample margin (56.7% vs. 38.1 %) his main opponent, Mario Etchelecu (former Minister of Housing)...

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Economic projections for 2019 are optimistic…but some issues must be closely followed
PANAMA - Report 24 Oct 2018
International analysts are bullish about the growth of the Panamanian economy next year: the IMF projects 6.8%, the World Bank 5.4%, ECLAC 5.2%, and the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) assumed an implicit real growth rate of 5.8% in the budget (not yet approved). We projected a 5% growth ra...

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