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Panama’s economic growth slowed in June
The monthly gross domestic product proxy rose 4.73 percent in June compared with the same month last year, the government statistics agency said, 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 largestcontainertransit 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. (Reuters)
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