What to expect on 2008 an economic report from CEPAL (Comision Economica para America Latina y el Caribe)

What to expect on 2008 an economic report from CEPAL (Comision Economica para America Latina y el Caribe)

You can download full reports for each country at: http://www.eclac.org/cgi-bin/getProd.asp?xml=/prensa/noticias/comunicados/5/32025/P32025.xml&xsl=/prensa/tpl/p6f.xsl&base=/tpl/top-bottom.xsl

For Panama, here is the summary:

In 2007, Panamanian economy grew 9.5%. This is Panama´s 4th year of sustained growth where the GNP per person has incremented 7.7%.

For 2008 they are more conservative: estimating an 8.5% growth, still 1% more than what they estimated at the beginning for 2007 which was 7%.  They estimate that the public deficit will remain less than 1% of the GNP.

During 2007 public debt was reduced (from 61% to 54%) and public investment increased in programs related to reduce poverty and to moderate the impact of inflation over basic goods.  It was also the year where the canal expansion was authorized, an important construction that will be done between 2007 and 2012 with investments that would be equivalent of 25% of 2007´s GNP.  Unemployment was reduced from 8.7% (in 2006) to 6.3%.  Exports at the Colon Free Trade Zone increased in 15%.  Local products like melon, watermelon and pineapple increased 11%.

Tourist visitors increased 16% and their expense raised another 14%.

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