Panama's Comptroller General's Office published a report showing that the country's economy grew 5.8% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first half of this year, compared to the same period of 2016.
The expansion registered between last January and June represents an additional contribution to the Panamanian economy of US $ 1,060.3 million, according to a report by the National Statistics and Census Institute (INEC), one of the organism of the Comptroller General.
The impulse came mainly from the 12.6% increase in transportation, storage and communications, a category that includes the 19.7% increase in toll revenue in the Panama Canal, 13.4% ports and 24.1% in air transport.
According to the INEC, trade grew by 4.7% in the period under review, highlighting that this segment "is the economic category that has the greatest weight in PIB with 16.8% of the total and reached 3,213.9 million last June 30."
Construction sector, the second most important category of PIB, grew 8.1% in the first half, the official said without further details.
The INEC also reported the following growth in the first half of this year: banking and finance (financial intermediation) 3.1%; real estate, legal services and other 3.5%; manufacturing industry 2.1%, and agricultural sector 0.2%.
The Economy and Finance Minister Dulcidio De La Guardia was optimistic about the results of the economy and said that based on the official results of the first semester, his office will soon present the revision of the estimates of growth for the year.
"This year 2017 will be a good year for the country, several sectors are registering a positive performance ... we are going to expect how the year evolves, concerning the economic growth, but we remain optimistic," De La Guardia said in a statement.
The director of the INEC, economist David Saied, commented that Panama's economic growth surpasses important economies in Latin America such as Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Peru.