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LatinNews Daily - 20 May 2021

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In brief: Panama hails IMF optimism regarding growth

* Panama’s economy & finance ministry (MEF) has hailed “optimism” on the part of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding Panama’s economic prospects after the economy contracted 17.9% in 2020 amid “stringent containment measures and mobility restrictions” to tackle the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Following a virtual mission by the IMF in the context of the 2021 Article IV consultation between 19-30 April, the IMF said that it projects Panama’s economy will grow 12% in 2021 as “economic activities recover, boosted by the vaccination rollout and full-scale copper production, a recovery in private investment, and a large carryover effect”. Over the medium term, growth is expected to stabilise at its potential growth rate of 5%.