Construction, mining and quarrying and community, social and personal service activities are the economic sectors that show the greatest dynamism, as shown by the Monthly Economic Activity Index (IMAE in Spanish), which is measured by the Comptroller General of the Republic of Panama.
This indicator was at 9.42% during the period from January to August in 2012, compared to the same period in 2011. The IMAE is an economic indicator that provides an estimate of how the Panama economy is growing and measures the production in various industries.
Activity in these industries continue to be dynamic, sustained mostly by the development of public works, large civil engineering projects and construction in the private sector. This increase creates a greater demand for mineral supplies from the mining industry.
Hotels and restaurants also rank among the fastest growing activities. Hotels have increased the number of rooms available for tourism, a sector that is growing by 7% and is expected to receive 2 million visitors by the end of the year.
Tourists expect a high quality and variety of food available, and the cuisine in Panamanian restaurants is recognized for meeting these requirements. Visitors on average have been increasingly spending more during their stay in the country.
As for the transportation, storage and communication industries, they are also maintaining a good rate of growth, attributed in particular to the connection facilities offered by the country. Panamanian ports continue to lead the region for their large numbers of containers transported, which are expected to surpass seven million this year.
Electricity and water production is ever increasing, due to the high demand by consumers.
Financial intermediation continues to record positive numbers, as banking and stock market activities show a favorable performance.
Amusement and recreation services are still prospering, mainly because of increased revenues from bets placed in casinos on games of luck and chance, particularly Type A slots, gaming tables and activities held by the National Charity Lottery.
Commercial activities showed a favorable trend, both in wholesale and retail, influenced in part by increased sales of fuels and new vehicles.
The agricultural sector had an increase in certain activities, basically raising livestock like cattle and pigs, as well as poultry. Fruit crops mostly destined for export, like watermelon and pineapple, also performed well, along with vegetable crops such as yams and American taro.
Industrial production showed an increase in activities such as processing food products, meat products and alcoholic beverages, as well as in the production of non-metallic products, paper, publishing and printing; however, there was declined production of metal, plastic and chemical products and textiles.