Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

June 14, 2022

Economic momentum in the first quarter likely cooled amid a less favorable base effect. Moreover, industrial output contracted notably and the merchandise trade deficit widened, further dragging on the overall economy. Moving into the second quarter, the removal of all Covid-19 restrictions from April onwards bodes well for the tourism sector. Following stellar growth in the first quarter, arrivals jumped just over 168% in April year on year, improving even further. This should feed back into firming domestic demand. However, elevated price pressures will likely impede household spending somewhat. Particularly, transport and food prices ballooned. Elevated inflation is linked to the spillover effects from the war in Ukraine, which has pushed up global energy and food commodity prices.

Belize Economic Growth

The pace of economic growth is set to slow this year amid a tougher base effect and the fallout from the war in Ukraine: A higher import bill and greater inflation will weigh on activity. However, the removal of Covid-19 restrictions should buoy the tourism sector and support domestic demand in turn. A tighter labor market is set to further support household spending. FocusEconomics panelists forecast GDP to grow 5.8% in 2022, which is unchanged 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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