Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

December 4, 2018

GDP data revealed the economy grew at a solid pace in the third quarter, although nonetheless slowed from the second quarter’s stellar expansion, which received a notable upward revision in the Q3 release. Surging tourism underpinned strong growth in the services sector, with the hotels and restaurants subsector growing at the second-fastest pace since Q1 2003. Primary sector growth decelerated but still posted a solid performance thanks to a sharp rebound in marine exports. On the downside, the secondary sector contracted on broad-based declines in manufacturing, electricity and water generation, and construction activity.

Belize Economic Growth

The economy should chug along at a steady pace in 2019. Tourism will continue to be a key pillar of growth, while a pick-up in agricultural production and sustained FDI inflows will also buttress the expansion. However, external imbalances—namely a large current account deficit combined with low international reserves—make Belize particularly susceptible to external shocks. FocusEconomics panelists expect GDP to expand 2.1% in 2019, which is up 0.2 percentage points from last month’s estimate, and 1.7% in 2020.

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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