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SIB: economy grew by 12.8%

GeneralSIB: economy grew by 12.8%

by Charles Gladden

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Jan. 12, 2023

The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) this week presented its quarterly report on Belize’s economic activity for the months of July to September 2022, the third quarter of the year, and in this most recent report it has indicated that there was a 12.8% growth in Belize’s economy compared to the third quarter of the previous year, 2021.

According to the SIB, the total value of goods and services produced for the third quarter was $1.176 billion, which represents an increase of 12.8%, or $133.4 million, compared to the third quarter of 2021. That growth is being attributed to improved performance in the tertiary and secondary sectors during the quarter. The SIB also highlighted the fact that the ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade’, ‘Hotels and Restaurants’, ‘Transport’, ‘Manufacturing’, ‘Construction’, and ‘Electricity’ sectors all saw an increase.

Meanwhile, overall productivity in the primary sector decreased—primarily in the banana industry, where banana production dipped from 27.1 thousand metric tons to 21.4 thousand metric tons—a 21.1% decline—due to diseases and increased cost of production. The total value of production in the primary sector is estimated at $77.1 million, which is 6.1%, or $5 million, less than the $82 million that was reported for the third quarter of 2021. In other key industries, however, there was an increase in output when compared to the third quarter of 2021.

Sugarcane production grew by 25.5%, from 181.7 thousand metric tons to 228.1 thousand metric tons, as a result of yields from the remainder of the second quarter. Citrus fruit deliveries increased by 69.8%, from 1.4 thousand metric tons to 2.5 thousand metric tons. Also, ‘Construction’ activities increased by 7.6%, from $70.6 million in the third quarter of 2021 to $75.9 million in the third quarter of 2022. Electricity also increased by 30.4%, from 90.9 thousand megawatt hours to 118.5 thousand megawatt hours, but water production declined slightly, by 0.2%, from 705.6 million gallons to 703.9 million gallons.

Productivity in the secondary sector improved by 10.2% or $18 million, from $176.8 million in the third quarter of 2021, to $194.8 million in the same period in 2022. Production of beverages rose by 21% due to increased consumer demand as a result of the increased arrival of tourists and the resumption of public events in that period. There was also 28.4% growth in flour production due to local demands, and the production of citrus concentrates increased significantly by 183.2%, from 22 thousand gallons in the third quarter of 2021 to almost triple that amount: 62 thousand gallons in the same period, due to the leftover crop.

In the tertiary sector there was an overall increase of 14% or $93 million from the third quarter of 2021: from $645.4 million to $738.5 million. The amount generated within the ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade’ sector increased by 21.5%—climbing from $134.8 million last year to $188 million in the third quarter of this year. The ‘Transport’ sector grew by a whopping 53.5%, from $45.3 million to $69.5 million, due to the increased movement in goods and passengers. The ‘Hotel and Restaurants’ industry also saw a major increase of 50.9%, from $38.2 million in the third quarter of 2021 to $57.7 million in the same period of 2022.

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