Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2021. 2:55 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Thanks to COVID-19, 2020 was a year to forget, the Statistical Institute of Belize confirmed at its first quarterly press conference for 2021.
Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 13 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020 year over year, and 14 percent for the entire year, deepening recession statistics.
In the primary sector, including agriculture, there was a narrow rise in profits of 0.3 million or 0.6 percent, fueled mainly by the return of cattle exports which grew by 20 percent. Fishing slumped with reduction of exports in shrimp, conch and so on.
The secondary sector actually rose by more than 22 percent, a drop in manufacturing and mining offset by increased electricity consumption, though total water consumed decreased. The increased electricity production is one of the few benefits from the heavy rainfall caused by Hurricanes Eta and Iota in November, though it had the opposite effect on water production. Beverage production was cut back, particularly in beer and alcoholic beverages except for soft drinks due to less consumption by tourists, but production of sugar and citrus concentrate rose as those industries recovered from drought to record increases in production.
The tertiary sector, services, continued its fall with nearly 19 percent contraction, with decreases in hotel and restaurant, trade, government services and so on. Overnight tourist arrivals are down a whopping 85 percent.
We’ll have more in detail later on.
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