Belize Economic Forecast

Belize Economic Outlook

February 18, 2020

The economy seems to have strengthened at the end of 2019, likely bringing annual growth for the entire year close to the rates observed in the previous two years. The third quarter contraction, driven by a slump in activity within the drought-blighted electricity and water production sectors, looks likely to have been reversed in the fourth quarter, despite the prolonged lack of rainfall in the country. Merchandise exports picked up in Q4, boding well for the external sector; tourism arrivals rebounded in the same period, accelerating from a slowdown in Q3; while strong domestic credit growth in October–November and sustained low inflation rates bode well for private consumption in the final quarter of 2019.

Belize Economic Growth

This year, economic momentum will likely remain broadly stable, as improving private consumption offsets constrained government spending. Vulnerability to natural disasters, continued dry weather conditions and hefty public debt levels are key downside risks to the outlook. FocusEconomics panelists forecast GDP to expand 2.0% in 2020, which is unchanged from last month’s estimate, and 1.9% in 2021.

Belize Economy Data

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Population (million)0.40.40.40.40.4
GDP per capita (USD)4,7424,7124,7204,7554,728
GDP (USD bn)1.71.71.81.81.9
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)3.72.80.11.92.1
Unemployment Rate12.110.211.19.79.4
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-2.2-8.0-3.4-2.8-0.7
Public Debt (% of GDP)77.782.788.996.496.3
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)-0.2-0.61.11.0-0.1
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)1.2-0.90.71.10.3
Benchmark Interest Rate (%)10.8210.329.849.469.12
Current Account (% of GDP)-7.5-10.0-8.5-7.8-8.1
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-0.1-0.2-0.2-0.1-0.2
Trade Balance (USD billion)-0.3-0.4-0.4-0.4-0.4
Exports (USD billion)0.60.50.40.50.5
Imports (USD billion)0.91.00.90.80.9
Exports (annual variation in %)-3.1-8.7-17.83.2-1.2
Imports (annual variation in %)5.62.3-9.0-3.15.8
International Reserves (USD)0.50.40.40.30.3
External Debt (% of GDP)76.075.874.574.573.7

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