Of all the projects that received approval to start works in May, about half are residential, and the rest are commercial developments or other projects.
One of the reasons behind the boom in this sector is the strong economic growth the country is experiencing, receiving large flows of foreign investment as well as local investments.
An article in Prensa.com notes "in the district of Panama, projects worth $65.4 million have been approved, the majority ($40 million) for non-residential use.
In Colon, projects worth $8.9 million were approved. Overall, construction remains one of the most dynamic sectors in the economy.
According to a report on the gross domestic product from the first quarter, the latest to be published, construction showed an increase of 15.3%. "
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The total public and private projects in the construction sector, grew by 48.4% untilJuly 2011.
A press release from the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Panama states:
The progress of the various works and projects under development, both National Government and private enterprise ones, is revealed in the latest Economic and Social Council report, prepared by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF), which indicates that the total amount of projects in the construction sector grew by 48.4% up to July 2011.
After five years of numbers in the red, the construction sector will close this year with growth of 4.6%.
According to the Salvadoran Chamber of Construction Industry (Casalco) the execution of public works was one of the factors that contributed to growth.
In an article in Laprensagrafica.com Ismael Nolasco, executive director of Casalco said, "’A very close estimate is 4.6%, which would be a positive increase in five years within the industry. The acceptable performance of public investment has had an influence, of the $1.200 million announced, we have reached a rate of about 60% to 70% of investment, which had a favorable impact on the industry’s performance.’
The value of construction projects reached $766 million during the first half of 2012, $198 million more than in the first half of 2011, with bank credit underpinning this growth.
An article in Panamaamerica.com reports that "Investment in the construction sector is reflected directly in the bank’s mortgage portfolios.
The construction sector grew by 3% in the first quarter of 2011, the first positive change since 2007.
According to the Central Reserve Bank (BCR) in the first three months of the year, gross domestic product (GDP) in the sector rose by 3%.
Ismael Nolasco, executive director of the Chamber of Construction Industry (CASALCO), said, "Since 2007, we have not been positive, only in the third quarter of 2009 have we reached 0.7%."