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    Panama Economy 2000

      Economy - overview: Because of its key geographic location, Panama's economy is service-based, heavily weighted toward banking, commerce, and tourism. The hand-over of the canal and military installations by the US has given rise to new construction projects. The MOSCOSO administration inherited an economy that is much more structurally sound and liberalized than the one inherited by its predecessor. Even though export demand is likely to remain slack in some key markets - especially the Andean countries - GDP growth in 2000 probably will be 3% to 4%. Key reform initiatives from the previous administration - including the privatization of public utilities - remain uncompleted. Although President MOSCOSO is unlikely to overturn any previous reforms, her populist leanings make it unlikely any new initiatives will be undertaken in the near future. Indeed, the government has failed to formulate a comprehensive economic policy framework, and the only concrete step it has taken by yearend 1999 has been a hike in agricultural tariffs.

      GDP: purchasing power parity - $21 billion (1999 est.)

      GDP - real growth rate: 4.4% (1999 est.)

      GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $7,600 (1999 est.)

      GDP - composition by sector:
      agriculture: 8%
      industry: 25%
      services: 67% (1997 est.)

      Population below poverty line: NA%

      Household income or consumption by percentage share:
      lowest 10%: 0.5%
      highest 10%: 42.5% (1991)

      Inflation rate (consumer prices): 1.5% (1999 est.)

      Labor force: 1.044 million (1997 est.)
      note: shortage of skilled labor, but an oversupply of unskilled labor

      Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 18%, industry 18%, services 64% (1997 est.)

      Unemployment rate: 13.1% (1997 est.)

      Budget:
      revenues: $2.4 billion
      expenditures: $2.4 billion, including capital expenditures of $341 million (1997 est.)

      Industries: construction, petroleum refining, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling

      Industrial production growth rate: 0.4% (1995 est.)

      Electricity - production: 4.523 billion kWh (1998)

      Electricity - production by source:
      fossil fuel: 25.56%
      hydro: 73.78%
      nuclear: 0%
      other: 0.66% (1998)

      Electricity - consumption: 4.329 billion kWh (1998)

      Electricity - exports: 13 million kWh (1998)

      Electricity - imports: 136 million kWh (1998)

      Agriculture - products: bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables; livestock; shrimp

      Exports: $4.7 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

      Exports - commodities: bananas, shrimp, sugar, coffee

      Exports - partners: US 40%, Sweden, Costa Rica, Spain, Benelux, Honduras (1998)

      Imports: $6.4 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

      Imports - commodities: capital goods, crude oil, foodstuffs, consumer goods, chemicals

      Imports - partners: US 40%, Central America and Caribbean, Japan (1998)

      Debt - external: $7 billion (1999)

      Economic aid - recipient: $197.1 million (1995)

      Currency: 1 balboa (B) = 100 centesimos

      Exchange rates: balboas (B) per US$1 - 1.000 (fixed rate)

      Fiscal year: calendar year

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    Revised 01-Nov-00
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