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May 27, 2015

S.I.B. Releases Quarterly Stats for G.D.P.

The Statistical Institute of Belize released the latest figures for the GDP, external trade and consumer price index. The first quarter records a growth of seven percent that is due largely to agriculture, manufacturing and some cruise tourism. The SIB says that while there was a decrease in sugar delivery, there was an increase in sugar production resulting from extraction efficiency and quality cane delivered. And you may have noticed a slight dip in prices for goods in April, for most districts that is, except Dangriga and Punta Gorda. Andrea Polanco joined the SIB today to get the latest stats.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, the GDP for the first quarter of 2015 grew by seven percent compared to the first quarter of 2014. So, the total goods and services produced was valued around seven hundred and thirty three million dollars, outperforming the past five year.


Angelita Campbell

Angelita Campbell, Statistician

“We see the seven hundred and thirty three million dollar being the highest recorded over the period of 2010 to 2015. Note, this quarter has recorded the highest in terms of monetary value over the years for the first quarter of the GDP. Within the primary industry, the agricultural and forestry sector went up by nineteen point six percent and that can be seen in an increase in banana of twenty two point six percent; orange also went up by one hundred and twenty nine percent and that is as a result of change in the harvest season. We have sugar cane, however, decreasing by two point seven percent and that is explained by a change, by the late start, sorry, for the season of sugar cane. The secondary industry went down by zero point one percent. Within in this industry, we have fluctuations. We see manufacturing and mining going up by eighteen percent, within that sector we see citrus concentrate going up by one hundred and twenty one percent and that follow suit by an increase in orange production. We have petroleum continuing a decline trend and that decreased by fifteen point three percent. As you can see there has been a decline in petroleum extraction since 2010 from three hundred and eighty five point two thousands of barrels to a hundred and forty three point nine thousands of barrels. Note, for the first quarter of this year that is the lowest we’ve seen for petroleum extraction since 2007 for the first quarter.”


The SIB says that imports increased for the first quarter, but that there were notable increases in exports despite a drop in crude petroleum.


Tiffany Vasquez

Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II, Economic Statistics, SIB

“In the period of January to April of this year, Belize exported goods totaling one hundred and ninety-seven point two million dollars. This represents a decrease of ten point seven million dollars or five point two percent from January to April of last year. A decease mainly due to a twenty-eight point three million dollar drop or a seventy percent fall in earnings from crude petroleum. Such a decline was the result of a forty percent reduction in the number of barrels exported coupled with a drop in the world market price of petroleum. However, all major exports increased. Citrus exports driven mostly by orange concentrate had the largest increase of twelve point one million dollars. Banana grew by five point seven million dollars,; sugar went up by three point nine million dollars and the marine was three million dollars.”


For the month of April, consumer prices went down by one percent.


Marilyn Pinelo-Lee

Marilyn Pinelo-Lee, Manager, Economic Statistics Unit

“We have food and non alcoholic beverages down by point three percent; housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels down by point six percent. Transport down by six point four percent and all other goods and services up by point five percent. The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels category is comprised of electricity tariffs and butane prices. Electricity tariffs were decreased in January of this year and are more than twenty percent lower than they were in April of 2014. On average, a hundred pounds cylinder is now ninety-three dollars compared to one hundred and twenty-six dollars twelve months ago.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco. 

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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