Panama Economic Expansion Continues

Monday, February 25 2008 @ 12:26 PM UTC

Contributed by: Don Winner - Panama's construction sector expanded 25 percent last year, spurred by the Panama Canal expansion project and high-rise apartment buildings, said Michael Fernandez, economic director of an industry group. Construction was the fastest growing part of Panama's economy in 2007 and now accounts for 5.3 percent of gross domestic product, said Fernandez, whose Construction Chamber represents the country's biggest builders. ``There is no bubble here,'' Fernandez said, adding Panama is unlikely to experience a real-estate bust similar to the one that's occurring in the U.S. ``The world has discovered Panama and now they are investing.'' Panama's ex-president, Nicolas Ardito-Barletta, said 42 percent of the new luxury apartments built last year were sold to foreigners seeking a second home in Panama.

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