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Belize has positive economic finish in 2015, slow start in 2016

Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2016. 7:14 pm CST.

Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2016. 7:15 p.m. CST

By Aaron Humes: Belize finished 2015 in a steady if not promising pace economically, according to statistics published today by the Statistical Institute of Belize.

However, the country is both importing and exporting less goods to start the year 2016. SIB logoFourth quarter economic growth was just zero point six percent, and overall growth for the year, projected, is just 1 percent.

The secondary and tertiary industries – that is, manufacturing, tourism, construction and government services – carried the economy in the fourth quarter, balancing the 27 percent slump in the primary or agricultural industries, especially fisheries which declined 58 percent.

At this morning’s press conference in Belize City, the SIB reported that for the first time in the statistical history of Belize, all major export industries reported declines in revenue in a single month – marine products, citrus and sugar especially so.

According to the SIB’s Tiffany Vasquez, the downward trend in exports is expected to be soon corrected, at least for marine products, sugar and citrus. Meanwhile, in the area of imports, the free zone’s worries continue as less goods are imported there, while there is also less imports of fuel.

The trade troubles have especially impacted our relationships with the United States, European Union and CARICOM, as trade balances tumbled significantly in each case.

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