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Belize sees marginal growth in third quarter

Posted:Thursday, November 30, 2017. 9:06 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: Belize’s economy grew by a marginal 0.5 percent for the third quarter of 2017, according to the latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures, released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB)_).

The data showed declines in two of the three export categories, both the Primary and Secondary sectors.

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The primary sector, which is the sale of raw materials, accounting for almost 10 percent of the country’s economic activity, declined by 2.2 percent during the third quarter when compared to the same period in 2016.

Secondary activities, the sale of manufactured goods, recorded an overall decrease of 4 percent in the third quarter of 2017.

Within that sector, the “Electricity and Water” category saw a decline of 2.1 percent, due to a 3.1 percent decrease in electricity generation when compared to the same period last year.

The tertiary or services sector, which accounts for more than half of Belize’s total economy, grew by 2.6 percent during the third quarter of 2017 when compared to the same period in 2016.

While the sector is traditionally led by the tourism industry,  “Wholesale and Retail Trade” recorded the highest increase, going up by 2.9 percent. “Transport, Storage and Communication” also increased by 2.9  percent, due to an increase in freight. “Accommodation and Food Services” recorded an increase of 0.9 percent as the number of overnight visitors rose by 10.9 percent and cruise passenger increased by 6.1 percent during the quarter.

“It should be noted that, notwithstanding the growing numbers of tourists visiting the country, hotel room revenues were down in comparison to the third quarter of 2016, indicative of the trend towards lower cost vacation rentals as opposed to traditional hotels and resorts,” the SIB said.

For the first nine months of the year, the country’s level of production was also 0.5 percent higher than in 2016.

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