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Nov 29, 2017

Modest Economic Growth in Third Quarter; Hotel Accommodations Down

Angelita Campbell

The Gross Domestic Product grew by zero point five percent for the last quarter. According to the Statistic Institute of Belize, this is on par with last year’s growth for the same period. The report shows that production in bananas dropped by four percent and lobster and shrimp combined saw a fifteen percent decrease in production. But there was some good news for livestock, which recorded an increase. Interesting to note, the SIB says that revenues for hotels accommodation dropped by almost eight percent. These figures and more were presented today at a press conference. Here’s how SIB explained the major upward and downward movement in the different productive sectors:

 

Angelita Campbell, Statistician II, SIB

“For the three months, July -September2017, Belize produced goods and services estimating six hundred and sixty-two point five million – an increase of three point four million or increase of point four percent when compared to the same period in 2016. For the first nine month, January-September, economic activities showed an increase of point five percent or ten point one million dollars when compared to the same period in 2016. Revised annual economic activities for 2016 show a decrease of point five percent when compared to 2015.  The primary industry which accounts for almost ten percent of the country’s economic activities decreased by two point two percent. Though livestock increased by 8 percent, agricultural forestry and hunting decreased by point four percent ; as banana shipment decreased by four percent as the banana industry is still feeling the effects of Hurricane Earl. Fishing dropped by fifteen percent or nine hundred thousand as exports recorded one hundred and fifty thousand less pounds in shrimp and forty-four thousand less pounds in lobster meat.  Production in the secondary industries recorded a decline of four percent in the third quarter of 2017. Economic activities within the manufacturing and mining sectors dropped by twelve point six percent reflecting mainly in decreases in beverage production and petroleum extraction of roughly seventeen point five and twenty-four point five percent. respectively. Flour on the other hand recorded an increase of two point four percent.   The tertiary industry which accounts for more than half of Belize’s total economy grew by two point six percent. Transport and Communication increased by two point nine percent due to an increase in freight; wholesale and retail trade increased by one point five percent; while producers of government services increased by five point eight percent due to an increase in wages. Hotels and restaurants recorded a marginal increase of point nine percent as the number of visitors increased in overnight stayers at ten point nine percent. And cruise passengers going up by six point one percent. Based on the data that we have received in terms of visitors coming in to our country, we have seen a huge shift from some low budget hotels into more lower if you want to call it budgeting travelers. People are moving to couch surfing. You go and sleep on somebody’s couch, you don’t necessarily have to pay them money; those kinda things do exist and that is what is taking over the market. Airbnb and couch surfing, rental of vans where people are driving through the country but they are not staying anywhere. So, you see a shift in that. Yes, we are gonna have complaints that people are not staying in the hotels, and the data speak to that fact that they are not staying in those kind of facilities anymore.”

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