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SIB reports 13.5% GDP growth, tripling of rum production

HighlightsSIB reports 13.5% GDP growth, tripling of rum production

The Statistical Institute of Belize reported that for the second quarter of 2022, the economy grew by 13.5%, due to increases in beverage production, fruit deliveries, and electricity generation.

by Khaila Gentle

BELIZE CITY, Wed. Sept. 28, 2022

Today at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported on Belize’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the months of April to June 2022, the second quarter of the year. According to SIB’s Statistician II, Christopher Hulse, the country saw economic growth of 13.5% this past quarter, as compared to the same period in 2021.

The total value of goods and services produced for the second quarter was $1.315 billion, owed in no small part to increased production in the secondary and tertiary sectors. The secondary sector, which accounts for processing, manufacturing, and construction, saw what the SIB calls “modest growth” of 1.5%, with the production of beverages and flour seeing increases of 27% and 29.2%, respectively.

In the beverage category, the SIB reported that rum production was up by 191%. This was mainly due to the fact that the lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions led to an increase in social activities and events, thus leading to an increase in demand. For similar reasons, the tertiary sector, which includes the “Transport” and “Hotels and Restaurants” industry, saw growth of 17.3%.

In the primary sector, there was a 7.9% decrease in production, particularly due to decreases in the production of sugar cane and bananas. In the case of the latter industry, a decrease in harvesting was attributed mainly to labor shortages, while unfavorable weather contributed to reduced sugar cane crop. The increase in citrus production occurred, not only because of an increase in the number of citrus harvesters, but because trees planted over the last few years to offset losses due to Citrus Greening have finally started to produce fruit.

The Statistical Institute of Belize also reported on the country’s external trade numbers for January to August 2022. Imports rose by 34.8%, while domestic exports increased by 11.3% respectively.

For the month of August alone, however, imports increased by 20.8%, while exports decreased by 44.5% from what was seen in August 2021. The main reason for the fall in exports was the decrease in sales of sugar and bananas. Revenues from sugar, specifically, fell by a drastic $31.1 million.

Despite this, there were also reports of increased sugar exports to CARICOM due to greater quantities of sugar being purchased by the region.

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