Activity in the tiny Central American nation rose 6.28 percent compared to the same month last year, the government statistics agency said, from an upwardly-revised 6.04 pct in June.

The economy ministry projects the $33 billion economy will have an overall growth rate of 8.5 percent this year.

Much of the growth is thanks to significant government infrastructure spending, including the ongoing expansion of the Panama Canal and the $1.8 billion construction of Central America’s first metro.

In July, traffic in the canal and ports continued the downward slide that has characterized the year.

Along with a global slowdown that has dampened trade, a delay in the opening of the expanded canal has persuaded some shippers to use alternative routes such as the Suez Canal, through which they can squeeze bigger ships. (Reuters)