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May 27, 2020

Is Belize in a Recession?

Jacqueline Sabal

COVID-19 has not only overwhelmed health systems and claimed the lives of one hundred thousand people, but it also continues to halt economies.  An IMF Blog post in April states that the growth in the region is projected to contract by six point two percent in 2020, stating, “This would be the deepest recession in more than half a century.” And some countries may already be in a recession or heading there – COVID-19 may have only compounded the economic crises that already existed. So, what about Belize? Well, the Statistical Institute of Belize is saying tonight that Belize just recorded it fourth consecutive quarter of economic downturn. By February, the third downturn was recorded. And for a country to be experiencing recession there must be at least two consecutive quarters of a decline in its production of goods and services.   When asked about that today, the S.I.B. says it is not their call to make.



“How much more quarters do you guys observe a contraction to deem it an economic recession?”


Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician II, S.I.B.

“For us, I think the definition typically used is two consecutive periods if I am not mistaken of decrease. First at the SIB, it is not our job necessarily to decide if the country is in a recession or not. I guess we leave that to those at the Central Bank. But I think the definition that is widely used is two consecutive periods of decline and at the moment we are on our fourth.”

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