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Aug 28, 2019

Economy Declines Marginally in 2nd Quarter of 2019

There has been a decline in the level of production between April to June of this year in comparison to the same period last year. According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, goods and services dipped by five million dollars primarily in the agricultural sector.  S.I.B. also released data showing a slight decrease in the cost of living and an increase in imports.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano crunches the numbers.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Generally, production for the country of Belize was down by 0.8 percent between the months of April, May and June.  The total value of goods and services produced during this time stood at six hundred and eighty-seven point nine million dollars.  Preliminary second quarter GDP estimates indicate a decline of five point eight million dollars when compared to the same period in 2018.

 

Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician II, SIB

Jacqueline Sabal

“Looking at the second quarter GDP at constant prices over the last six years and GDP at constant prices, meaning that the prices are adjusted for inflation.  The largest second quarter growth recorded over the last six years was last year at six point four percent.  This was due to recorded increases across all sectors of the economy within that quarter.  On the other hand, decreases during the second quarter were recorded in both 2015 and 2014.  The two point one percent decline in 2015 was due to a drop in agriculture, fishing and manufacturing, while the two percent drop in the second quarter of 2014 was due to a decline in mainly agriculture and mining.  The zero point eight percent decline experienced in the second quarter of this year was caused by decreases within both the primary and secondary sectors.”

 

Primary activities declined by two point nine percent, largely owing to lower sugarcane, citrus and banana production.  Secondary activities were down by twelve point nine percent, as electricity generation, manufacturing and construction activities declined during the quarter.

Jacqueline Sabal

“Production within primary industries declined by two point nine percent or two point six million dollars, totalling eighty-seven point eight million dollars during the second quarter of 2019.  Within the primary sector, agriculture, hunting and forestry declined by two point eight percent or two point four million dollars, totalling eighty-three point nine million dollars, while the fishing industry declined by five point three percent or zero point two million dollars.”

 

For the month of July, consumer prices were slightly down by zero point two percent, a nominal decrease in the prices of regularly purchased goods and services.

 

Malvin Perez, Statistician II, SIB

Malvin Perez

“The cumulative inflation rate for the first seven months of 2019 remains relatively unchanged with an inflation rate of negative zero point zero two percent when compared to the same period of 2018.  Now let’s look at the all-items consumer price index for the past three years with our focus being the month of July.  We noticed that in July 2018, it recorded a Consumer Price Index of one hundred and five and in July 2019, it recorded a Consumer Price Index of one hundred and four point eight.  This is why the decrease for the period was negative zero point two percent.”

 

Imports for July were up by fifteen point six percent, while domestic exports were up by forty-four percent in July.  The value of imported goods stood at one hundred and ninety-one point four million dollars which represents a decrease of fifteen point six percent or twenty-five million dollars from the same month in 2018.  A substantial growth in the imported quantities of diesel fuel was the main contributor to the notable increase in total imports for July.

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.


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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