Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

February 12, 2019

Available data for the fourth quarter suggests the economy expanded at a solid pace. Robust tourist activity throughout the quarter—which rounded out a historic performance for the sector in 2018—should have driven growth. Moreover, merchandise export growth accelerated significantly in December, following November’s rebound, on stronger earnings from major commodities including bananas, citrus, and marine products. Imports, on the other hand, fell notably in December despite a surge in fuel imports, mostly due to a base effect from large aviation purchases in the same month a year ago.

Belize Economic Growth

Although momentum is expected to wane slightly in 2019, tourism should continue to buttress growth, partly thanks to robust growth in the U.S., which is the origin of about two-thirds of tourist arrivals. Elevated public debt and a wide current account deficit, however, leave the economy vulnerable to external shocks. FocusEconomics panelists expect GDP to expand 2.1% in 2019, which is unchanged 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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