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Mar 25, 2015

S.I.B. Releases Latest Statistics

The Statistical Institute of Belize today released the Consumer Price Index, Gross Domestic Product and External Trade Stats for Belize for the end of last quarter and the first two months of this year.  According to the S.I.B., the falling world fuel prices have made its mark on Belize’s economy. As of February, the prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean households fell by one point two percent and fuel prices dropped in that period. All municipalities across Belize recorded falling consumer prices during February 2015, with the exception of Dangriga, where there was a slight overall increase of point five percent; the biggest average drop was in Belmopan with a two point one percent decrease. Andrea Polanco was at today’s press conference where it was announced that imports and exports for January and February of this year are already registering an increase and decrease for the same period, respectively.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

2014’s cumulative growth shows that the economy expanded by an estimated three point six percent, an increase in the Belize’s GDP. For 2015, imports for January and February have increased by over thirty million dollars compared to the same period last year.

 

Tiffany Vasquez

Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II, Economic Statistics, SIB

“In January and February of this year Belize imported goods totaling three hundred and fourteen point five million dollars; this represents an increase of thirty five point two million dollars or twelve point six percent from January and February of last year.  Largest increases were observed in imports going to the commercial free zone and export processing zones. Imports going to the commercial free zones grew by sixteen million dollars due largely to increase purchases of cigarettes. While imports to the export processing zones grew by eleven point two million dollars due to a spike in shrimp feed purchases. Mineral and fuel lubricants, which include fuels, had the sharpest decline of thirteen point three million dollars. This drop is a reflection of falling world fuel prices. In fact, when barrels of 2014 were compared with barrels of 2015 of the same period, it was obvious that low fuel prices were the contributor to that decline.”

 

Consumer goods, like food and clothing, accounted for over eighteen percent of the imports. The United States continues to be the largest import market.

 

Tiffany Vasquez

“The U.S continues to be Belize’s largest source of imports. In January and February of this year, Belize imported ninety one point seven million dollars worth of goods from America. This represented twenty nine point two percent of total imported goods in Belize. Twelve point two percent or thirty eight point three million dollars worth of goods were imported from Central America. While eleven point four percent of Belize’s goods came from China.”

 

Exports for this year are already less than ten million dollars compared to last year. Citrus, Banana, Sugar and Marine products have increased and Belize’s biggest markets are the European Union, followed by the U.S, CARICOM and Central America.

 

Tiffany Vasquez

“Receipts from goods exported in January and February of this year were valued at seventy-nine million dollars, represents a decrease of twelve point three million dollars less than last year. This decline was due mostly to a twenty point seven million dollar drop in crude petroleum exports. Again, such a drop was reflective of falling fuel prices worldwide. Offsetting this decline slightly were Belize’s major exports. Banana exports grew by one point nine million. Citrus grew by one point five million while sugar and marine grew by one point two million.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

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