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Feb 22, 2023

I.M.F. Issues Concluding Statements Following Recent Mission to Belize

The International Monetary Fund has presented its concluding statements, following a recent 2023 Article Four Mission to Belize.  The I.M.F. reports that economic activity has rebounded strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic, however inflation has risen from three point two percent in 2021, to six point three percent in 2022.  The statement also mentions that government has achieved a sizeable reduction in public debt and the primary balance is projected to remain in surplus in Fiscal Year 2022, despite the fuel tax cut, as well as costs arising from Hurricane Lisa.  Elsewhere in the statement, the I.M.F. also warns that the Central Bank must remain vigilant about risks in the financial sector.  The regulator’s process for strengthening the balance sheets of banks, as well as resolving problem loans in the wake of the pandemic has been well executed, notwithstanding some banks being placed under enhanced supervision.  Nonetheless, banks remain vulnerable to shocks and some institutions may require recapitalization in 2023, should the quality of their loan portfolios continue to deteriorate.

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