Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

October 11, 2021

GDP rebounded from Q1’s contraction in the second quarter, largely driven by the services sector. The key agricultural sector also expanded in the period, surpassing its pre-pandemic level. Turning to Q3, despite rising new Covid-19 cases and a curfew being in effect, signs are positive, with tourist arrivals still higher in July–August than Q2’s monthly average, albeit receding in August from July according to the latest available data. Moreover, soaring imports in the same two-month period continue to signal improved domestic dynamics. Meanwhile, exports were solid in July–August, chiefly driven by August’s jump thanks to higher sales of bulk sugar and upbeat demand from the EU. In other news, Mexico recently renewed Belize’s export license for shrimp after it had expired in 2019, boding well for marine exports.

Belize Economic Growth

Economic growth should accelerate in 2022, after a relatively mild rebound in 2021. The uptick will likely be driven by the key tourism sector, which has been severely damaged by the fallout from the pandemic but should be able to recover as vaccination efforts progress. A possible deterioration in the health crisis poses a downside risk. FocusEconomics panelists forecast GDP to grow 3.4% in 2021. For 2022, the panel sees the economy expanding 6.8%, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate.

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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