Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

June 11, 2019

The economy appears to have slowed in the first quarter of the year following its solid performance throughout 2018. Although tourist and cruise ship arrivals continued to increase at a solid pace in Q1, plunging merchandise exports likely hampered growth. Meanwhile, the industrial sector seems to have remained on weak footing due to feeble electricity and water generation and lackluster construction activity. Turning to Q2, soaring merchandise export growth in April bodes well for the economy in the quarter. The acceleration was largely due to surging sugar exports resulting from the timing of shipments this year, while banana exports also rose modestly; citrus and marine exports, however, both moderated in the month.

Belize Economic Growth

Economic growth is expected to decelerate this year, on the back of more moderate growth in the services sector which will likely be led by a slowdown in tourism and trade against a more precarious external backdrop. An overreliance on tourism, elevated public debt and potential natural disasters remain the principal downside risks to the outlook. Met the why particular panelists expect GDP to expand 2.3% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate, and 1.9% 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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