UPDATE 1-Panama economic activity picks up in October

viernes 26 de diciembre de 2014 18:10 GYT

(Adds details on growth, background)

PANAMA CITY Dec 26 (Reuters) - Panama's economic growth accelerated in October from a year ago, the government said on Friday.

The economy grew 5.54 percent, its fastest rate so far this year, and up from 5.10 percent in September, due to an improvement in fisheries, mining, construction and shipping through the Panama canal.

Panama's economy has been cooling as $15 billion of infrastructure projects, mainly for the expansion of the Panama Canal, have been winding down. Such public works had helped lift economic growth to one of the highest rates in Latin America in recent years.

The expanded waterway, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, was originally due to open this year, but disputes over funding and delays have pushed that back to 2016.

In the January-October period, Panama's economy grew 4.68 percent compared with the same period last year. (Reporting by Elida Moreno; Writing by Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by Christian Plumb)