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News > Panama

Panama's Economy Contracted by 18 Percent in 2020

  •  A waitress delivers lunches at

    A waitress delivers lunches at "Donde Fanso hoy", Panama, Feb. 8, 2021. | Photo: EFE

Published 4 March 2021

Natural disasters and the pandemic generated a reduction in the value of production measured at 2007 prices.

The National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC) reported that the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Panama decreased from US$43 billion in 2019 to US$35 billion in 2020.


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This 17.9 percent year-on-year contraction was accompanied by a decline in GDP per capita as each person lost US$1,805 last year in nominal values.

Among the sectors with negative performance were manufacturing industries, construction, wholesale and retail trade, hotels and restaurants, transportation, storage, and communications. 

Government services, mining, and quarrying activities showed an output increase of 34.1 percent, followed by fishing at 12.2 percent, private health services with 4.7 percent, and agricultural activity with 3.0 percent.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to disruptions in normal economic activities that were reflected in the GDP indicators.

Hurricane Eta and Iota also negatively impacted the Central American economy last November, as the food chain and agricultural production areas were put at risk.

Economists agreed that the output contraction has a historical dimension as it exceeds the fall of 13.4 percent recorded in 1988.

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