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Aug 26, 2020

Economy Contracted by 23.3% between April and June 2020

There is grim economic news tonight; the economy contracted by twenty-three point three percent in the second quarter.  That is the highest contraction we’ve seen in the past two decades. In fact, it is the largest quarterly decline to date.  The decline reflects the effects of COVID-19 on economies across the region through external and domestic factors. The Statistical Institute of Belize today reported that economic activity was down across all three sectors. The sharp decline was recording during the months of April to June 2020.  The total value of goods and services produced during that period was five hundred and fifty eight million dollars, a one hundred and sixty nine million dollars decrease. The S.I.B. says that this marked the country’s fifth consecutive quarterly period of economic contraction. The hotel and restaurant industry saw a decrease of ninety-nine point four percent due to the pandemic. The services sector was the most impacted.



Jacqueline Sabal

Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician II

“For the second quarter for 2020 G.D.P. decrease by twenty three point three percent compared to the same period of 2019. Production across all sectors decreased. The primary sector fell by twenty pint two percent. The secondary sector by nineteen point five percent and the tertiary sector decreased by twenty three point two percent.  Decrease production was observed all sectors particularly the tertiary sector as the wholesale and retail trade industry saw less goods imported during the quarter and the hotels and restaurant industry which were at a virtual standstill due to a lack of tourist visitors in the country. The services sector was the most severely impacted by COVID-19 recording a significant twenty point two percent drop or one hundred and one point nine million dollars decrease for tertiary industry Within this sector the hotel and restaurant industry declined by ninety nine point four percent bringing the total for that industry to zero point two million dollars. With borders closed activities within the hotel and restaurant subsectors were at a near standstill. Overnight tourist arrivals and cruise visitors to the county were dormant as hotel and cruise ship cancellations began as early as March of this year and continue to the second quarter. The wholesale and retail sector contracted by thirty seven point one percent as less minerals, fuels and lubricants manufactured goods, food and live animals, machine and transport equipment were imported in the county. Nationwide restrictions due to COVID-19 interrupted land, sea and air transportation resulting in a twenty eight point eight percent decline in transport, storage and communications subsector totalling forty-six million for that industry. Asserting positive pressure to G.D.P. was government services which increased by one point eight percent or one point five million as salaries increased due to annual government increment.”

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