San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Panama not panicking amid economic trouble

PANAMA CITY, Panama – After Several years of explosive economic growth, Panama is starting to show signs of wear from the world economic crisis.

The economy, which was growing at near double-digit rates a year ago, registered a more modest 2.5 percent growth rate for the first quarter of 2009, according to government figures released last week.

Leaders of the real-estate development sector, which has powered the country´s economic expansion for the past five years by producing more than $1 billion in new construction annually, now predict as many as 60,000 workers could be out of a job by the end of the year.

But Panama isn´t panicking. In fact, thanks to its solid banking system, geographical position and perhaps a dose of good luck, Panama expects to ride out the crisis better than its neighbors and come out the back end of the storm stronger than it went in.

See the June 26 print or PDF edition of The Nica Times, a publication sold with The Tico Times, for more on this story

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