(Recasts with context, adds background)
PANAMA CITY, June 25 Panama's economy grew in
April at its slowest pace in more than four years, the
government said on Wednesday, hit by a construction workers
strike and the end of public work projects.
Panama's economy grew at a 2.74 percent rate in April
compared to the same period a year earlier, when it expanded by
10.41 percent. The April growth rate was the lowest since
Construction output was hit by a strike that halted progress
on a multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal as well
as at hundreds of other building sites.
The conclusion of other public works projects in recent
months also cut into demand for building materials such as
The Panama Canal expansion was originally set to be finished
this year, but was delayed after a spat between contractors and
the authority in charge early this year.
Panama, with a population of about 3.7 million, has seen its
economy growing at an average annual rate of 8.5 percent over
the past five years, boosted by $15 billion worth of
(Reporting by Elida Moreno; Editing by Paul Simao)