The effects of global crisis already are feeling in Panama.
One of the effects is going to be the increase in unemployment rate,and the GDP has reflected a slight drop of three percent to 2010.
Exports of goods and services, the Colon Free Zone, construction, tourism and the Panama Canal, are sectors of the economy affectedby the global crisis.
The big drop in consumption in the North’s countries have resulted the downfall of world trade. For this year is going to be nine percent, in comparison with 2009. This globaldownturn is affecting our main source of income such as income from the Panama Canal and the Free Zone.
The slowdown in Venezuela, South America, Central America and the Caribbean, especially theDominican Republic, is another factor that will affect exports in the Colon Free Zone, the second most important source of income for Panama. At the end of 2008 the total imports and re-exports in theFree Zone closed at $ 19, 210 million.
The construction industry, that the last years grew up, since September 2009 has reported a low in terms of building permits. According to figures from theComptroller in January this year, residential projects, fell 31.2%, mainly in the district of Panama and San Miguelito 30% at 84.5%
Sectors most affected by the global economic crisis
• Thelocal banks: The local banks: to have access to money it is harder for lenders, and if they changed the rules for banks, also the case with customers. The lending rate goes up, ie the money theyborrow Panamanians will cost more next year.
The banks require more collateral at the time of disbursing money, especially in sectors like construction, exporting companies, or businesses in theColon Free Zone, which are directly dependent on international demand.
Lenders will be more selective when granting personal loans, because in an environment of slower economic growth is...