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Latin America Investment News on Viva Tropical

Has Panama’s Economic Boom Busted?

Article Summary:

Panama’s economy slowed in June as trade has remained weak.

Photo Credit: Tropical Daily

Original Article Text From Rueters:

Panama’s economic growth slowed in June

The pace of growth in Panama’s economy slowed in June as trade in the Central American country’s Colon Free Trade Zone and traffic through its canal and ports remained weak.

The monthly gross domestic product proxy rose 4.73 percent in June compared with the same month last year, the government statistics agency said on Tuesday, below May’s upwardly revised 5.77 percent rate.

Panama’s duty free zone, the largest such area after Hong Kong, has faced currency and trade troubles this year with Colombia and Venezuela, its two biggest trading partners.

Venezuelan traders owe the free trade zone about $800 million because of difficulties exchanging the Venezuelan bolivar for dollars.

Panama is also battling with Colombia over surcharges Colombia has placed on certain items such as clothes and shoes.

Traffic through the Panama Canal and ports continued to decline.

A six-month delay in the opening of an expanded canal, now expected for mid-2015, has caused some shippers, including the world’s largest container transit company, Maersk Line, to choose alternative routes.

June economic activity data was released two weeks after its expected date, but the statistics agency did not offer an explanation for the delay.

Link to Original Article:

From Rueters

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