Friday, September 12, 2008


part of Western Belize News Service

OPEN SOURCE INTELLIGENCE: Source Lan Sluder, by way of Channel Love FM television in Belize, reported from the Government Statistical Unit.

  • INFLATION RISES ALSO AT 6.9% in Belize

The Belize economy had a blowout quarter in the 2nd quarter of 2008,
growing 7.3%. That's one of the faster rates of growth in the world,
and more than twice as fast as the U.S. growth rate that quarter.

Even China and India only grew at around 10% in the 2nd quarter.

On the negative side, inflation for the 12 months ending May 2008 was
6.9%, the biggest annual increase since 1996. The inflation rate was
mainly due to increases in the price of food; fortunately, some food
prices have fallen back since the 2nd quarter.
--Lan Sluder


September 12, 2008

Belize's economy has seen an increase. That is according to figures
released by the Statistical Institute of Belize. A release from the
Institute says after virtually no growth in the first quarter of this
year, Belize's economy bounced back at seven point three per cent in
the second quarter to post growth of an estimated four per cent in the
first half of this year. The expansion was spurred by the wholesale
and retail trade and manufacturing sectors, both of which grew by more
than 10 per cent. After the collapse of the country's largest shrimp
farm, the fishing sector declined by 20 point five per cent however it
rebounded in the second quarter making it the third largest
contributor to the expansion of the economy during that period. Growth
was also recorded in the agriculture, transport and communication
sectors. On the downside the hotel and restaurant sector declined for
a second consecutive quarter. This reflects the continued decrease in
tourists' arrivals. The electricity and water sector also reflected a
decrease. This was attributed to the lower rainfall at the Chalillo
Dam which resulted in a 23 point four per cent in electric power
generation. As it relates to the international merchandise trade, from
January to July Belize imported 990 point three million dollars worth
of goods; this is an increase of 24 point five per cent or 194 point
eight million dollars from the same period last year. The most
significant spending increases were in machinery and transport
equipment which increased by 73 point eight million dollars.
Manufactured goods increased by 40 point eight million dollars and
mineral fuels and lubricants increased by 31 million dollars. The
United States continued as the largest supplier, providing almost 34
per cent of total imports. Central America ranked second with 21 per
cent most of which were for the Commercial Free Zone in Corozal.
Domestic export earnings rose by four point nine per cent to 367 point
seven million dollars. The bulk of the increase was due to higher oil
. Among the other major export commodities, only marine products
and bananas saw increased sales. Figures show that when crude
petroleum oil is excluded, there was a nine point two per cent or 25
point seven million dollars shortfall in domestic export revenues
between January and July. In value terms, the share of domestic export
sales to the United States of America remained at 30 per cent while
the percentage to Central America rose from 19 point nine per cent to
29 percent. The share of sales to Europe fell from 37 point seven per
cent to 31 point seven per cent. As it relates to consumer price
index, figures show that in May of this year, consumers were paying
six point nine percent more than they did in May last year for goods
and services in the consumer price index basket. This 12 month change
is the highest recorded since August 1996 when consumer prices grew by
seven point four per cent. The most significant increases were in the
prices of food and beverages which rose by an average of 12 point
three per cent. The price of rice went up by 21 point three per cent
while the cost of flour and whole chicken increased by 51 point five
percent and 13 point four per cent respectively. Increases were also
recorded in the transport and communication sector as gasoline rose by
seven point eight percent per gallon and diesel by 35 point four per
cent per gallon.

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