Cotes: Downward economic outlook after strike

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The strike held by the construction sector negatively affected the Panamanian economy according to the president of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE), Héctor Cotes. "We quantified approximately 30 million per day. The construction sector lost 900 million, excluding other sectors such as commerce, transportation," Cotes told Panama Today.

The representative of the business association considers that the relocation of costs to the houses renders a housing deficit possible, "the construction sector was revealing sings of slowdown and the strike generates a more important cost structure." The Capac (Panamanian Chamber of Construction) ) will have to reinvent itself and see which alternative construction methods it can use to continue offering more affordable housing costs for Panamanians," said Cotes.

For Cotes, workers lost in the short term. "Workers earned 3%. They could earn 12% in 4 years. They already lost a twelfth, which is 8% this year because they were not paid a month of work, a month of remuneration and they earned 3% as of July. Strictly speaking, the revenue will be seen two years later," said the President of APEDE.

One of the most important effects of the strike is the deferral of important works such as the metro and the expansion of the Tocumen airport.

Regarding the economic growth outlook for the country, which was estimated at a 5.6% at the beginning of this year, the businessman said that, "we believe that it will be growing less than 5%, still significantly with respect to the region, but everything indicates that it will be lower than any of the outlooks at the beginning of the year".

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