Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

February 13, 2018

Weak trade data for the fourth quarter suggests the economy continued limping along in the final stretch of last year; growth had slowed considerably in the third quarter, held back by weak agricultural and manufacturing output. In both November and December, exports fell year-on-year by double digits as shipments of marine and citrus products decreased, hinting that subdued activity in the agricultural sector persisted through year-end. Full-year exports, on the other hand, recovered as sugar revenues soared on stronger harvests and higher prices.

Belize Economic Growth

Agricultural output is expected to continue recovering this year, underpinning household spending. Moreover, healthier inbound tourism should benefit from the strength of the global economy and, in turn, boost fixed investment. Fiscal imbalances, including external obligations and the massive public debt, are expected to limit growth over the medium term. FocusEconomics panelists see growth of 2.1% in 2018, down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s estimate, and 1.9% in 2019.

Belize Economy Data

20122013201420152016
Population (million)0.30.40.40.40.4
GDP per capita (USD)4,6154,6454,8124,7024,631
GDP (USD bn)1.61.61.71.71.7
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)3.71.34.11.2-0.8
Unemployment Rate16.114.112.110.28.0
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-0.8-1.1-2.9-8.4-3.3
Public Debt (% of GDP)76.878.476.582.798.6
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)0.81.6-0.2-0.61.1
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)1.30.51.2-0.90.7
Benchmark Interest Rate (%)11.9911.1210.6210.039.66
Current Account (% of GDP)-1.2-4.5-7.5-10.2-9.5
Current Account Balance (USD bn)0.0-0.1-0.1-0.2-0.2
Trade Balance (USD billion)-0.2-0.3-0.4-0.8-0.8
Exports (USD billion)0.60.60.60.30.2
Imports (USD billion)0.90.91.01.01.0
Exports (annual variation in %)3.0-2.1-3.38.9-25.1
Imports (annual variation in %)3.68.17.72.7-4.3
International Reserves (USD)0.30.40.50.40.4
External Debt (% of GDP)76.076.875.077.3-  

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