Economy Features — 02 September 2014 — by Adele Ramos
Barrow comments on Belize’s economic performance

BELIZE CITY–Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow has described Belize’s 8.7% GDP growth for the second quarter of 2014 as “phenomenal,” but said that the tremendous gap between Belize’s huge import bill and reduced level of exports is not desirable.

Barrow said that Belize has to increase its exports, but he does not know how soon the country can expect to reach a point where its exports outpace imports, as Belize is “an importing economy.”

The phenomenal 8.7% GDP growth for the second quarter of 2014 was also fueled by high levels of importation and Barrow explained that, “so many of the inputs that go into the very processes that then result in exports have to come from abroad.”

Barrow added that although “it is not a situation that one can by any means describe as desirable… it is what it is and if overall, we have the kind of growth in the economy that we are experiencing then we are able to in fact pay for our imports easily.”

As we reported in the weekend edition of Amandala, Belize’s economy declined marginally by 0.4% for the first quarter of 2014, but the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported an upturn in economic growth for the second quarter by 8.7%, bringing the total growth estimate for the first half of 2014 to 3.7%.

Meanwhile, Belize imported goods valuing a total of $1.14 billion between January and July, but export revenues totaled $390.3 million, a decrease of $55.4 million or 12.4% compared to 2013.

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