Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

November 6, 2018

While the economy accelerated in the first half of the year, buoyed by double-digit growth in tourism, momentum appears to be losing steam in H2. Depressed sugar prices and weaker banana production dragged on merchandise export revenue in September, causing the trade deficit to widen despite a notable downturn in import growth. Moreover, fiscal consolidation efforts are likely weighing on government spending, while accompanying revenue measures including higher fuel excise taxes, import duties, and a broader general sales tax—although essential to reducing public debt—are likely constraining consumer spending.

Belize Economic Growth

The economy should maintain its steady course in 2019, with tourism remaining the predominant driver. Sustained growth in key trading partners, particularly in the U.S., should benefit the expansion. However, the risk of a global slowdown, coupled with an elevated current account deficit and high public debt, leave the economy exposed to external shocks. Met the why particular panelists expect GDP to expand 1.9% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate, and 1.7% in 2020.

Belize Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)0.40.40.40.40.4
GDP per capita (USD)4,6074,7734,8594,8414,829
GDP (USD bn)1.61.71.81.81.9
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)0.74.03.8-0.51.2
Unemployment Rate14.212.111.211.19.7
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-1.6-2.4-7.4-3.8-4.1
Public Debt (% of GDP)79.177.180.086.694.9
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)1.6-0.2-0.61.11.0
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)0.51.2-0.90.71.1
Benchmark Interest Rate (%)11.1211.6611.039.669.34
Current Account (% of GDP)-4.5-7.5-9.7-8.3-7.0
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-0.1-0.1-0.2-0.2-0.1
Trade Balance (USD billion)-0.3-0.3-0.4-0.4-0.4
Exports (USD billion)0.60.60.50.40.5
Imports (USD billion)0.90.91.00.90.8
Exports (annual variation in %)-2.2-3.1-8.7-17.73.3
Imports (annual variation in %)8.65.62.4-9.0-3.3
International Reserves (USD)0.40.50.40.40.3
External Debt (% of GDP)77.575.574.873.9-  

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