- Canal de Panamá
Panama's monthly economic activity index (IMAE) grew by 3.04 percent between last January and July, compared to the same period in 2017, the lowest result of recent years according to data from the National Institute of Statistics and Census (Inec).
The monthly variation of the index last July was 1.98 percent, compared with the same month in 2017, said the statistical agency attached to the Comptroller General's Office of Panama.
In the January-July period, the main categories of economic activity that showed favorable trend were fishing, transport, storage and communications, electricity and water, public administration, financial intermediation and trade.
The Inec said that transport and communications services showed a good trend mainly through the Panama Canal, international passenger transport by air and telecommunications.
The electricity and water supply registered positive results due to the greater generation of renewable hydroelectric, wind and solar energy, it added.
Meanwhile, some activities that showed a negative impact were leisure and fun, construction, and mines and quarries exploitation, the Inec added without further details.
The IMAE is an economic indicator that allows us to estimate the path of economic growth in the country, said the statistics agency.
Panama's economy grew by 5.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, over 5 percent of the previous year, driven by activities related to the external sector such as the interoceanic canal and air and financial services.
The Panamanian government readjusted downward the growth outlook for 2018 and left it at 4.5 percent, arguing the serious blow that meant the strike between April and May in construction, a sector that represented in 2016 the 14.9 percent of GDP but that has been in decline for several years.
Panama's GDP expanded by 4.2 percent in the first quarter of this year, driven by the logistics, services and domestic consumption sectors, according to official data.