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Nov 30, 2016

Recession Deepens: Exports Are Down, Prices Are Up and Thousands More Jobless

Figures were released today by the Statistical Institute of Belize that confirm a gloomy economy picture in this fashion: exports are down, prices are up and thousands have joined the unemployment lines.   According to SIB, for the third quarter of 2016, production by the main industries declined by more than twenty percent. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The Belizean economy, already in the throes of recession, continues its downward trajectory by sliding a total of 0.8 percent in the third quarter.  With primary activities, including marine and banana exports down considerably, the period between July and September of this year points to an overall decline in productivity.  Goods and services produced locally stood at six hundred and fifty-five million dollars, behind approximately six million dollars from the same length of time in 2016.

 

Angelita Campbell

Angelita Campbell, Statistician, SIB

“For the third quarter, the primary industries fell by roughly twenty-four percent.  Within that industry we saw fishing going down by roughly sixty-one percent as a result of nine million dollars less in marine export.  We see agriculture, hunting and forestry also decreasing by thirteen point four percent and within that industry we saw banana decreasing by roughly fourteen percent as a result of Hurricane Earl.  Within that sector as well, we see livestock going up however, by seven percent as a result of increase in production of swine and cattle.”

 

In spite of a drop in production, electricity and water held their own.  Energy generated by water power increased by almost eight percent when measured against the same period a year ago.  Distribution of water also grew by three point eight percent, owing to favorable weather conditions.

 

Angelita Campbell

“Electricity recorded an increase of roughly seven point nine percent due to favorable weather conditions that positively affected the hydroelectric power generation.  We see water generation going up by roughly three point eight percent and that is as a result of continued upgrading of distribution lines.”

 

Overall, the gross domestic product for the third quarter of 2016 was down by twenty-three point seven percent in the major industries, and up by two percent in the secondary and tertiary sectors.

 

The cost of goods and services also rose by point seven percent, up from last October.  So did the cost of fuel.  Motorists absorbed increases in the price per gallon of diesel and regular gasoline.

 

Jacqueline Sabal

Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician, SIB

“Fuel has been the main contributor to the overall increase in the transport index.  It has been trending gradually upward from March and the recorded nine percent increase in October of this year has been the largest increase since January.  We are also curious to see how the change in bus fare will impact the transport index.  Unfortunately, it is not reflected in the data being presented here as our collection period had already passed when the bus fare price change was finalized.”

 

Add to the dismal economic climate is the fact that two thousand Belizeans have since joined the unemployment line since September, bringing the total to seventeen thousand, nine hundred and fifty-two men and women who are presently jobless.

 

Curwen Arthurs

Curwen Arthurs, Statistician, SIB

“We noticed that of all working age persons, about sixty-four point three percent of them were actually economically active.  If we go even further, in more details in terms of sex, we notice that the males are participating about four out of every five males are participating in the labor force.  In terms of females, it’s about half.  One out of every two females. The number of unemployed persons was estimated to be about seventeen thousand, nine hundred and fifty-two and this represented an increase of over two thousand persons compared to last September.”

 

Across the districts, Stann Creek once again has the highest rate of unemployment.  The Corozal District, notwithstanding a net gain of over one thousand jobs, also saw an increase in unemployment, simply because there were more people joining the labor force than there were new jobs during that period. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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3 Responses for “Recession Deepens: Exports Are Down, Prices Are Up and Thousands More Jobless”

  1. Truth says:

    Prime Minister did say the best is yet to come!!!! lets see what excuse he will come up with this time around…

  2. Help says:

    And why are fuel prices going up — increased taxes! And what will happen April next year — increase in GST taxes! Yet GOB continues to spend unnecessarily on forieign embassies and consuls, minister families getting paid for not working, minister families getting sweeet land payments, Belize Infrstruture Limited (BIL) spending millions of taxpayers dollars on projects with little audit oversight,…..And then we must go begging for donations to get vehicles for the police and bdf…. imagine GOB cannot even afford to buy equipment for these critical departments..And to top it all, recession and unemployhment on the rise…….thank you GOB! The best is yet to come!

  3. Corozaleños Concern says:

    Which of the Bureaus is responsible to place a stop to the Chinese Supermarkets in raising the prices and making things worst here in the north. The inflation has been so obvious in Corozal that is now rampant and someone needs to put a stop to these Chinese people… Please someone respond……HELP!!!!!!

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