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Jun 26, 2019

SIB Releases New Quarterly Statistics

On the economic front, there is positive news coming from the Statistical Institute of Belize in respect of the labour force. Figures show a drop in the unemployment rate from nine point four percent in April 2018 to this year. According to S.I.B., unemployment is at its lowest, with the Belize District showing the highest gains in employment. There is also a report of improved economic activity with prices remaining constant. News Five’s Isani Cayetano breaks down the figures. 

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The Statistical Institute of Belize held a quarterly press brief this morning to discuss Belize’s economic performance, beginning with its gross domestic product.  In May, imports went up by one point nine percent, while domestic exports were down by thirty-five point six percent.  For the first three months of 2019, the level of economic activity increased by five point two percent when compared to the same period last year.  Angelita Campbell is a statistician at SIB.

 

Angelita Campbell

Angelita Campbell, Statistician II, SIB

“For the first quarter of 2017, Belize produced goods and services totaling seven hundred and eighty-two million dollars.  This is an increase of thirty-eight point six million dollars or five point two percent when compared to the same period of 2018.  Now we’re looking at first quarter GDP at constant prices and growth rate over the last six years.  GDP by constant prices means that the prices are adjusted for inflation.  The largest first quarter growth rate recorded over the last six years was during the year 2015, which recorded an increase of eight point two percent.”

 

The most recent Consumer Price Index shows that in May, the cost of goods and services were virtually unchanged when compared to the same period last year.

 

Jacqueline Sabal

Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician II, SIB

“The inflation rate for the month of May 2019 stood at negative 0.01 percent.  This means that the cost of regularly purchased goods and services which Belizeans regularly purchase remained relatively unchanged in comparison to 2018, decreasing by an almost imperceptible 0.01 percent.  The cumulative inflation rate for the first five months of 2019, from January to May stood at 0.1 percent.  As we look at the all-items CPI with our focus being the month of May, we notice that both May 2018 and May 2019 recorded a consumer price index of 104.7 which is why the decrease for the period was so small at a marginal 0.01 percent.”

 

The Labor Force Survey for April 2019 shows that the number of persons employed stood at one hundred and sixty-four thousand, four hundred and twenty-eight which represents an increase of roughly eight thousand, five hundred persons from last year.  Likewise, persons aged twenty-five to thirty-four accounted for the largest group of employed persons, twenty-eight point eight percent of all persons with jobs. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


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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