De Lima explained that the following industries are generating this economic growth: mining and quarrying (32%), construction (31%), hotels and restaurants (11%), transportation and telecommunications (10.4%) and financial intermediation (9%). In addition, higher tax revenues are being reached than what was calculated.
The economist John Jované stated that the MEF projections nearly coincide with those provided by the International Monetary Fund and the Economic Commission for Latin America, which anticipated that growth will hit 7.5%, a diminished rate in comparison to the 10.5% estimated for this year.
This growth will be accentuated once construction projects are completed, said Jované. He also explained that this economic growth has been achieved thanks to foreign investment, and that any alteration to the minimum contribution made by external financing could cause the economy to grow at a different rate than the 7.5% that is anticipated. Jované also added that once the Panama Canal expansion is finished, along with construction of other mega projects that are supporting the economy, the country will find itself deeply in debt.
Rolando Gordón, Dean of the Faculty of Economics of the University of Panama, foresees that in 2013 the growth will not be as large as it was this year because some of the huge construction projects will be already completed and the levels of foreign investment in Panama are expected to be lower.
On the other hand, the ongoing global crisis may possibly affect the country with a decline in cargo containers that pass through the Canal. While growth will be very similar to 2011, the problem arises from rising prices of food, which will have an inflation of 8% more than the cost per month in 2011, and the overall cost of living, which has increased by 5% and caused budget issues for the majority of the population.