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Belize’s economy grows for second quarter

Posted: Thursday, August 31, 2017. 8:34 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Economic activity was up for all sectors in the second quarter of 2017, resulting in overall growth of 1.1 percent.

The preliminary Gross Domestic Product estimates for the period from April to June showed that the total value of goods and services produced in Belize was $737 million, up almost $8 million from $729 million in the second quarter of 2016.

The primary sector saw an overall increase of 4.1 percent, as most industries within this sector had increased activity. ‘Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry’ recorded an increase of 4.2 percent, marine exports grew by 4.1 percent, and sugarcane deliveries increased by 19.4 percent.

The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) noted that livestock production positively contributed to the growth in the primary sector, with cattle production increasing by 20.8 percent in response to favorable market prices, while pig production grew by 12.8 percent due to increased market demand. However, decreases in banana shipments offset the growth in the primary sector.

Secondary activities recorded an increase of 0.7 percent for the second quarter, primarily as a result of continued strong performance in “Electricity and Water.” Electricity generation rose by 5.6 percent compared to the second quarter of 2016, as demand increased and favorable weather conditions positively affected hydroelectric power production. Water distribution, was up by 0.6 percent due entirely to increased demand.

The sector did have incidents of decline, including a 0.3 percent decline in ‘Manufacturing and Mining’ despite an increase of 18.3 percent in the production of sugar and a 30.1 percent increase in the production of citrus concentrate. Beverage production dropped by 13.5 percent, with beer production falling due to reduced consumer demand and an increase in excise tax; soft drink production also saw a reduction during the quarter, due to a rise in importation of soft drinks. Crude petroleum extraction declined by 18.2 percent because of the natural depletion of reservoirs.

The tertiary sector, which accounts for over half of the country’s economic activities, grew by 1.7 percent during the second quarter of 2017, with ‘Government Services’ showing an increase of 2.2 percent, while ‘Transport, Storage and Communication’ saw an increase of 4.4 percent due to an increase in freight.

For the first half of the year, the country’s level of production was 1.1 percent higher than in 2016.

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