Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

December 7, 2017

Year-on-year GDP growth in Q3 slowed considerably from a quarter earlier (Q3: +0.5% yoy; Q2: +1.1% yoy), held back by poor performances in the agricultural and industrial sectors—the former was still hampered by the effects of last year’s Hurricane Earl. In the industrial sector, an uptick in private construction activity was not enough to offset a sharp decline in beverage-related manufacturing activity; demand for beer and soft drinks plummeted as new excise taxes came into force. Although the services sector accelerated, tourism-related services grew only marginally as visitors increasingly opted for cheaper vacation rentals. Prospects for Q4 appear brighter, according to available data; year-to-date export receipts grew by double digits in October.

Belize Economic Growth

Despite a weak Q3, the agricultural sector is expected to continue recovering next year, underpinning household spending. High public debt and acute external imbalances are expected to hamper growth in the medium term. Our panelists expect growth of 2.2% in 2018, down 0.2 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 2.0% 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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