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Aug 29, 2014

Prime Minister Confident in Belize’s Economic Performance

On Wednesday, the Statistical Institute of Belize announced that there was significant economic growth in the second quarter of this year, as much as eight point seven percent. But we checked the stats and found out the following. In 2013, the GDP growth for the first quarter January to March was negative point five percent. For the second quarter of 2013, April to June, it was one percent. For the year 2013, the growth rate of GDP was point seven percent, that’s a decline from the second quarter. Now for this year 2014, the GDP growth for the first quarter January to March, was negative point four percent. The figures just released for the second quarter of 2014, growth is reported at eight point seven percent, a substantively high increase in a matter of three months. That seems to be statistically improbable because there has not been anything significant growth, say in fuel, employment levels, consumer price index, oil, sugar and other commodities. Likewise, there are other factors which would influence growth as the trade deficit, which is in the negative as well as private sector investment which has decreased.  The PM, however, is brimming with confidence.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“I’m very pleased not just with the extremely strong second quarter growth, but I notice they also indicated they’ve revised last year’s growth figure which has gone from zero point seven percent to certainly one point four, one point five percent. But in terms of the here and now, that second quarter growth is phenomenal and I am very pleased indeed.”



“Speaking of growth, are you concerned that over the course of the year it will taper off. In terms of obviously we’ve had a strong quarter but at the end of the year, we might have again negative growth as we did in the first quarter. We won’t have eight point seven for the remaining two quarters.”


Dean Barrow

“Well how do you know that? This is it; you are getting into speculation now and you may well be right, but again you may not. I think when you look at the nature historically of the performance of the economy during the course of a particular year, the third quarter can, I think, be expected not to be as strong as the second quarter. But then the last quarter can certainly be expected to be stronger than the third quarter. So in the end, I am hopeful that it would all even out ad we will finish with growth that is certainly in excess of the projections. There is nothing anybody can say to rain on our parade with respect to this phenomenal eight point seven percent second quarter growth.”



“Sir can you also comment on the other side of the economic profile being the decline in export earnings and also the fact that the difference between what Belize exports and what it imports continues to be a huge divide?”


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Well, again what it is, is what it is. We have to continue to try to increase exports. I don’t know how soon we can expect to reach a point where our exports in fact will outpace our imports. We are an importing economy. So many of the inputs that go into the very processes that then results in exports has to come from abroad. So it is not a situation that one can by any means describe as desirably, but it is what it is. And if overall, we have the kind of growth in the economy that we are experiencing then we are able to in fact pay for our import fees. And if we have the kind of record foreign reserves that we possess at this time, it is a conundrum that is not going to overcome us.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Prime Minister Confident in Belize’s Economic Performance”

  1. English says:

    Write out the numbers when you talk about percentages!

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