Retailing rebounded strongly in 2022 in a continuation of the previous year. The reopening of society and the resumption of pre-pandemic lifestyles were enabled by the rollout of vaccines and the waning of the virus, all of which reduced fears of contagion.
The retail sector in Panama continued its bounce back from the pandemic. In current terms, retail sales growth was nearly as high in 2022 than in 2021.
The level of employment in Panama is relatively high compared to the rest of the region, although the Panamanian government still faces the problem of an informal economy. According to data from the National Competitiveness Centre (Centro Nacional de Competividad, CNC), the informal economy comprises of over 194,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Retail sales in Panama are expected to continue to post positive growth over the forecast period. Retail e-commerce is projected to record the most significant gains, although certain store-based channels, such as sports goods stores and warehouse clubs are also forecast to post healthy growth.
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Retail is the sale of new and used goods to consumers from a business for personal or household consumption from retail outlets, kiosks, market stalls, vending, direct selling and e-commerce. Retail is the aggregation of Retail Offline and Retail E-Commerce. Excludes specialist retailers of motor vehicles, motorcycles, vehicle parts. Also excludes fuel sales, foodservice sales, rental transactions, and wholesale sales (e.g. Cash and Carry). Sales value excluding or including VAT/Sales Tax. Retail also excludes the informal retail sector. Informal retailing is retail trade which is not declared to the tax authorities. Informal retailing encompasses (a) sales generated by unregistered and unlicensed retailers, i.e. retailers operating illegally, and (b) any proportion of sales generated by a registered and licensed retailer that is not declared to the tax authorities. Unregistered and unlicensed retailers operate predominantly (although not exclusively) as street hawkers or operate open market stalls, as these channels are harder for the authorities to monitor than permanent outlets. Activities in the illegal market, which is usually understood to refer to trade in illegal, counterfeit or stolen merchandise, are included within our definition of informal retailing. Activities in the “grey market”, which is usually understood to refer to trade in legal merchandise that is sold through unauthorized channels – for example cigarettes bought legally in another country, legally imported, but sold at lower prices than in authorized channels – will be included as informal retailing if no tax is paid on sale by the retailer. However if the retailer pays tax – for example on cigarettes bought legally in another country but sold at a lower price than standard – the sale is included within formal retail.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Retailing research and analysis database.
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