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Jun 29, 2022

Economic Growth by 5.3% in First Quarter of 2022

The Statistical Institute of Belize today held a press conference at the Radisson where it announced that in the first quarter of the year, the country’s economy improved by five point three percent when compared to 2021. While primary activities went down in the first three months of the year, there was growth in the secondary and tertiary sectors. Even with this good news, the cost of living is up.   News Five’s Duane Moody crunches the numbers and files this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

With an adjusted base model for its G.D.P. moved up to 2014, today, the Statistical Institute of Belize says that the country recorded a five point three percent economic growth in the first three months of 2022. The report suggests that the total value of goods and services produced within Belize was estimated at one point two-one-three billion dollars which is up by sixty-one point three million when compared to the same period in 2021.


Christopher Hulse

Christopher Hulse, Statistician II, SIB

“This represented the highest level of production for any first quarter on record. What this is saying is that the previous G.D.P. had considerable under coverage so after we have made the adjustment, the level throughout the historical series has risen and now this is the highest first quarter we have observed in Belize.

The five point three percent growth showing that the production level has returned or surpassed the pre-pandemic production, 2019.”


When looking at GDP by sector, the trend continued where tertiary represents more than half of the total figure – sixty percent and above – secondary contributes fifteen percent, primary thirteen percent and taxes ten percent. So what’s the growth rate per sector?


Christopher Hulse

“If we were to break that down into value. Out of the one point two billion dollars, tertiary would provide seven hundred and forty-nine point two million dollars out of that one point two billion; secondary would be a hundred and eighty-three point nine million dollars; primary would be a hundred and fifty-eight point two million and taxes would be a hundred and twenty-two point one million dollars respectively.”


Primary sector declined by one percent while secondary and tertiary increased by two point six and six percent, respectively.


Christopher Hulse

“In the case of banana we observed an eleven point eight percent decrease from twenty-two thousand metric tons to ninety point four thousand metric tons in quarter one of 2022. Citrus fruit deliveries decreased by thirty-one point two percent from thirty-five thousand metric tons to twenty-four point one thousand metric tons. Most of this decrease is due to the lack of laborers so harvest was at a slower paste than normal. Overall for livestock we saw a five percent increase. Breaking it down, we see cattle went down by twenty-six point two percent; pig went up by twenty-two point three percent and poultry by five percent.”


But how does this translate to the inflation rate that has been experienced over the past five months? The report shows that consumer prices are up by six point six percent in May 2022. For example, the cost of pigtail went up by fifty percent, vegetable oil by forty-one percent and cabbage by seventy-five point six percent – this is not to mention the spike in fuel prices. Statistician Melvin Perez breaks down the consumer price index when compared to prices in October 2020.


Melvin Perez, Statistician II

Melvin Perez, Statistician II, S.I.B.

“We can see how prices started to increase from February up to May of 2022. These increases were a combination of higher food items, butane and fuel prices. Looking at the same period in the year of 2021, we can see how prices increased throughout these months, but it was not high enough to offset the increases for the period in the year of 2022 which is why when comparing the two periods, prices overall changed by five point three percent. Looking at the trend line, it is clearly showing how prices have been moving through the years, specifically starting from November of 2020 where prices started to increase heavily up to May of 2022.”


As it relates to external trade, imports were up to fifty point five percent and domestic exports were up thirty-seven point four percent in May 2022.


Duane Moody 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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