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Panama’s Economy Grows as Rest of Latin America Stalls

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Apr 29, 2016, 9:07 pm
Panamá
The IMF expects Panama’s GDP to increase 6.1 percent in 2016 and in 2017 to reach 6.4 percent. (MariaParker)

EspañolThe entire economy in Latin America and the Caribbean will suffer a 0.5 percent contraction in 2016, while Panama, a small Central American country, is the one that will grow the most as estimated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

An IMF report states that Latin America faces its worst economic scenario since 1982, largely due to the decline of Venezuela, Brazil, and Argentina.

But Panama will have better luck. The international organization expects its GDP to increase 6.1 percent in 2016 and in 2017 to reach 6.4 percent.

Panama currently has the fastest-growing economy in Latin America because it is inside the area of US influence and because the country will expand its Canal, the main source of income.

But as Panama’s economy does nothing but grow, Brazil, the largest country in South America, faces a recession of 3.8 percent, Argentina a recession of 1 percent, and Venezuela, the country with one of the largest oil reserves in the world, will see its economy shrink by a staggering 8 percent.

According to the report, the poor economic performance in the region is due to “weak external demand, decreases in prices of raw materials, volatile financial conditions” and “significant internal imbalances.”

The IMF estimates that Argentina will return to a growth path in 2017, when the recession will also end in Brazil. However, everything hinges on the political situation in the South American, which is experiencing a crisis with the impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff.

In the document, the IMF has no hope for Venezuela that could suffer an even greater setback, because the economy is facing an energy crisis, rising inflation, high rates of shortages and strong political divisions.

Source: La Prensa, El País.

Sabrina Martín Sabrina Martín

Sabrina Martín is a Venezuelan journalist, commentator, and editor based in Valencia with experience in corporate communication. Follow @SabrinaMartinR.