Country Analysts

Marco Fernandez
Former Economic Advisor, Ministry of Planning

In The News


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Recent Country Insights

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High NFPS deficit in the first quarter of 2019: the challenges to Cortizo´s administration
PANAMA - In Brief 13 May 2019
The net deficit of Q1 was $966 million: 1.4% of projected (by MEF) nominal GDP for the complete year, or around 5% of “adjusted” GDP for the quarter. This figure does not include payments in arrears to contractors (a figure that may be at least 600 million, according to private sources). The prim...

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Cortizo wins by a small margin. Roux challenges the result. PRD is the strongest party in the Legislative Assembly.
PANAMA - In Brief 06 May 2019
Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo won the Presidential election tonight by a slight margin, so small that the Cambio Democratico Party of Romulo Roux is challenging the results thus prolonging the official recognition of the results. Cortizo’s Partido Revolucionario Democrático, PRD (social-democratic un...

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Will a new President and ally be enough to boost the economy?
PANAMA - Report 28 Apr 2019
The Monthly Index of Economic Activity increased 3.65% YTD (the result of 3.57% in January and 3.74% in February), lower than what was expected by the market. The main concern for the first half of the year relates to the El Niño phenomenon and the drought that comes with it. The agricultural pro...

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The year starts slowly…but exports of copper may change the trend. Martinelli´s trial may heat up the headlines
PANAMA - Report 29 Mar 2019
The economic data for the first month of 2019 suggests a weak start to the year. The recently published Monthly Economic Index for January point in that direction (see Graph 1 below). Surprisingly, the effect of the World Youth Meeting in January, which should have increased internal demand by 0....

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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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