(Adds background, details on growth)
PANAMA CITY, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Panama’s economy lost a little steam in September compared to the same period a year earlier, the government said on Monday.
The economy grew 5.11 percent, down from 5.34 percent in August, due to a decline in manufacturing. Although mining and construction activity rose slightly, they remain affected by a decrease in activity surrounding the multibillion-dollar expansion of the Panama Canal.
Panama’s economy has been cooling after $15 billion of infrastructure projects, mainly for the expansion of the Panama Canal, helped lift economic growth to one of the fastest 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-September period, Panama’s economy grew 4.64 percent compared with the same period last year.
Panama expects the economy to grow around 7 percent in 2014. (Reporting by Elida Moreno and Gabriel Stargardter; Editing by James Dalgleish)