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SIB reports an increase in Belize’s GDP

GeneralSIB reports an increase in Belize’s GDP

by Kristen Ku

BELIZE CITY, Wed. June 26, 2024

There was an uptick in Belize’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023. The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported that the GDP, which measures the total value of all finished goods and services produced within the country, increased by 10%, and amounted to $1.49 billion from January to March 2024.

This growth is primarily attributed to notable performances in the secondary and tertiary sectors.

The secondary sector, which includes industries such as manufacturing, construction, and utilities, saw an overall growth of 3.5%. Notably, the electricity sub-sector surged by an impressive 40.2%, totaling $202.6 million, which reflects increased activity and possibly new investments in the sector.

The tertiary sector, covering services like wholesale and retail trade, transportation, and hospitality, experienced growth of 13.8%, with a total of $964.7 million being generated. This sector’s boom was led by a rise of 43.2% in hotels and restaurants, likely attributed to an increase in tourist arrivals and greater domestic spending.

Also notable was a 41.6% increase in the transportation sub-sector.

Tourism, a critical component of Belize’s economy, showed promising signs of recovery and growth, with the first quarter of 2024 seeing an increase in tourist arrivals by both air and cruise ships, and figures rebounding to near pre-pandemic levels.

In contrast, the primary sector, which includes agriculture, forestry, and fishing, recorded a decrease of 9.1%, (down to $128.6 million), when compared to quarter 1 of 2023.

Specific highlights include a 16.3% decrease in mining outputs and a general decrease in agriculture, forestry, and fishing outputs by 8.3%, but with notable increases in sugarcane (7.6%) and livestock production (15.3%), as well as bananas, which almost doubled production.

Unfortunately, this sector must also contend with issues such as climate change and market fluctuations that can affect agricultural outputs. Additionally, while the secondary sector is expanding, segments such as manufacturing require more innovation and investment to sustain long-term growth.

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