Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

May 17, 2022

Growth clocked 14.8% in Q4 2021, up from Q3’s 13.8%, mainly on the back of a faster expansion in the services sector. Meanwhile, industrial activity fell sharply as a drought affected hydroelectric production. Turning to Q1 2022, the tourism sector continued its rebound as the number of visitors nearly doubled from January to March. However, the trade deficit deepened in the first three months of the year due to higher imports of machinery and increasing costs for fertilizer and fuels. Moving to Q2, the removal of all Covid-19 restrictions from April should be further boosting tourism inflows and supporting domestic activity. Moreover, in early May, the government signed an agreement with Mexico to improve infrastructure and transport links and increase trade between the two countries, boding well for momentum ahead.

Belize Economic Growth

GDP growth in 2022 will likely slow from its 2021 rally as the favorable base effect fades. That said, the tourism sector should stimulate activity in light of looser travel restrictions, as should solid private consumption driven by gains in employment. However, a higher import bill, rising inflation and global demand uncertainty cloud the outlook somewhat. FocusEconomics panelists forecast GDP to grow 5.8% in 2022, which is down 0.3 percentage points from the previous month’s forecast. For 2023, the panel sees the economy expanding 3.8%.

Belize Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)0.40.40.40.40.4
GDP per capita (USD)4,7124,7204,7554,728-  
GDP (USD bn)1.71.81.81.9-  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.80.11.92.1-2.0
Unemployment Rate10.211.19.79.410.4
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-8.0-3.4-2.8-0.7-1.8
Public Debt (% of GDP)82.788.996.496.699.7
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)-0.61.11.0-0.10.2
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)-0.90.71.10.30.2
Benchmark Interest Rate (%)10.329.849.469.129.08
Current Account (% of GDP)-10.0-8.5-7.8-8.1-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-0.2-0.2-0.1-0.2-0.2
Trade Balance (USD billion)-0.4-0.4-0.4-0.4-0.5
Exports (USD billion)0.50.40.50.50.5
Imports (USD billion)1.00.90.80.91.0
Exports (annual variation in %)-8.7-17.83.2-1.22.4
Imports (annual variation in %)2.3-9.0-3.15.88.0
International Reserves (USD)0.40.40.30.30.3
External Debt (% of GDP)75.874.574.573.7-  

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