Panama’s trade deficit narrowed to PAB 1091.2 million in December 2018 from PAB 1118.8 million in the same month a year earlier. Imports fell 3.0 percent year-on-year to PAB 1131.7 million, mostly due to lower purchases of consumption goods (-1.4 percent), namely fuels and lubricants (-7.5 percent) and semi-durable (-9 percent). Also, purchases decreased for capital goods (-5.4 percent), of which transport and equipment (-16.3 percent) and agriculture (-25.4 percent); and intermediate goods (-12.2 percent), mainly raw materials and intermediate products for the industry excluding construction (-8.1 percent). Exports dropped 15.6 percent to PAB 40.5 million, as sales declined for shrimps (-30.3 percent); fish (-55.3 percent); flour and fish oil (-39.2 percent); and waste and scrap of steel, copper and aluminium (-28.9 percent). Considering 2018 as a whole, the country’s trade gap widened to PAB 12560.7 million from PAB 12064.3 million in 2017. Balance of Trade in Panama averaged -706152.82 PAB Thousand from 2003 until 2018, reaching an all time high of -164179 PAB Thousand in February of 2005 and a record low of -1274300 PAB Thousand in October of 2014.
Balance of Trade in Panama is expected to be -1018500.00 PAB Thousand by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Balance of Trade in Panama to stand at -1000000.00 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the Panama Balance of Trade is projected to trend around -1035000.00 PAB Thousand in 2020, according to our econometric models.