Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

October 13, 2020

The economy collapsed in the second quarter as travel restrictions pummeled tourism, while industrial output declined on lower demand for beverages amid Covid-19 containment measures. As for the third quarter, economic activity likely remained muted on a still-weak tourism sector as borders remained closed. Moreover, merchandise exports continued to fall sharply throughout July–August. However, domestic demand should have benefited somewhat from the easing of restrictions. Going into the fourth quarter, some recovery in activity should ensue from the reopening of the country’s airport on October 1. Nevertheless, the rebound in visitor arrivals will likely be limited by a lack of flights and restrictions on arrivals.

Belize Economic Growth

The economy is forecast to contract sharply this year due to the fallout from Covid-19, which hammered private consumption and fixed investment. That said, next year should see some recovery, as eased restrictions open the door to a rebound in both tourism and domestic activity. However, prolonged drought conditions and elevated public debt darken the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists forecast GDP to contract 12.7% in 2020, and then grow 6.0% in 2021, which is up 0.2 percentage points from the previous month’s forecasts.

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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