Panama's economic recovery strong, but growth to slow in 2023, IMF says

Panama's economic recovery has been "very strong," but the outlook remains uncertain as growth is projected to slow to 5% this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Friday.

Panama faces risks of new external shocks as well as potential disruptions to copper mining after delays reaching a renewed agreement with Minera Panama, the IMF said.

Canadian miner First Quantum (FM.TO) owns a 90% interest in the Cobre Panama mine through its unit Minera Panama.

Panama's inclusion on the Financial Action Task Force grey list also poses risks.

It is imperative Panama exit the list - which includes countries considered to have weak anti-money laundering regulations - as soon as possible by addressing the remaining deficiencies in its framework, the IMF said.

Panama should also reduce its fiscal deficit further to ensure debt sustainability in the medium term, the fund added.

The country's banking system has capital adequacy and liquidity indicators "well above regulatory minima," the IMF said, and should continue on that trend "as Panama does not have a lender of last resort and deposit insurance."

The IMF also recommended Panama focus on policies to rebuild economic buffers and ensure income levels are more in line with those in advanced countries.



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