Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

July 10, 2018

According to recently released data, economic momentum slowed notably in the first quarter of the year (Q1 2018: +1.8% year-on-year; Q4 2017: +3.1% yoy). The primary sector experienced a double-digit contraction due to a plunge in citrus and banana production and marine exports. Growth in the secondary sector moderated slightly. GDP growth was therefore buoyed by the resilient services sector, which benefitted from booming tourism. Data available for Q2 depicts a similar story. In May, sugar export earnings tumbled, despite stronger export volumes, amid an oversaturated market. Exports of bananas and citrus products also fell in the month. Momentum continued to be buoyed by the robust tourism sector.

Belize Economic Growth

The tourism sector will likely be the main driver of growth this year. Moreover, recoveries in banana and citrus production should also support growth, although the depressed sugar market could weigh on the primary sector. FocusEconomics panelists see growth of 1.9% in 2018, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate, and 1.9% again in 2019.

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 Rate14.212.110.211.19.7
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 (%)11.1210.6610.039.669.34
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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