Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

September 14, 2021

The latest release shows GDP rebounded in the second quarter, growing 22.3%, after falling 7.1% in Q1. The print was mainly driven by a robust expansion of the services sector, largely due to a rebound in wholesale and retail trade, and transport and communication activity. In addition, both construction and agriculture sectors grew considerably, surpassing their pre-pandemic levels. Turning to Q3, despite rising Covid-19 cases and a curfew being in effect, signs are fairly positive, with tourism still recovering and closing in on its pre-pandemic levels in July, according to the latest available data. Moreover, soaring imports in July continue to signal improved dynamics in domestic activity. In other news, Belize reached an agreement with institutional investors regarding its massive “superbond” payments, which if finalized could save the government over USD 200 million in debt repayments.

Belize Economic Growth

Activity should regain momentum this year, supported by improved domestic dynamics as restrictions continue to ease and activity gradually picks up. Moreover, returning tourism and improved agricultural production should together prompt a stronger external sector. A possible deterioration in the health crisis poses a downside risk to the outlook, however. FocusEconomics panelists forecast GDP to grow 2.8% in 2021, which is down 0.4 percentage points from last month’s estimate. For 2022, the panel sees the economy expanding 6.8%.

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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