Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

November 10, 2020

The economy collapsed in the second quarter, pummeled by the Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions. Turning to Q3, economic activity likely remained subdued by a weak tourism sector. Moreover, internal demand remained muted, as suggested by significantly lower imports. More positively, after contractions in July and August, merchandise exports soared in September, driven by a surge in sugar, banana and citrus fruit sales. Renewed external demand was fueled by recoveries in key trading partners such as the United Kingdom. In other news, general elections are scheduled for 11 November. Voters will decide between the ruling center-right United Democratic Party and center-left opposition People’s United Party (PUP). Both parties are broadly market-friendly, although the PUP’s economic proposals appear more expansionary, with a new stimulus package a major feature of their manifesto.

Belize Economic Growth

The economy is seen contracting sharply this year on the back of hammered domestic demand. That said, next year should see some recovery, as eased restrictions open the door to a rebound in both exports and domestic activity. However, prolonged drought conditions and elevated public debt darken the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists forecast GDP to grow 6.5% in 2021, which is up 0.5 percentage points from last month’s estimate. For 2022 the panel sees the economy expanding 4.1%.

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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