Panama's economy is losing its glitter
Panama, the economic growth star of Latin America in recent years, has lost much of its glitter according to the International Monetary Fund and also some of the nation's business leaders.
The Fund says that the slowdown in the economy may only be temporary but said that the trend is downward. The spectacular increases of recent years, fueled by the expansion of the Canal and other major projects, have been overshadowed by the recent construction strike, growing unemployment, tensions in world trade and the weakness of the dollar.
Meanwhile, Carlos Berguido, head of the Bankers' Association, added to the gloom. He called on society to "take action to change the terrible state of the country's institutions."