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“Economy Grows 5.2%”

The Gross Domestic Product, GDP, which is the main benchmark of the country’s economic growth, for the first quarter stood at 5.2% when compared to the same period of 2018. The goods and services produced for the first quarter total $782 million; showing an increase of $38.6 million when compared to the same period last year. Angelita Campbell, Statistician II of the Statistical Institute of Belize explained that the majority of the growth occurred in the primary sector.

Angelita Campbell, Statistician II of the Statistical Institute of Belize: “The primary sector which experienced the largest growth rate increase of 13.8% or an increase of $11.4 million dollars when compared to the first quota of 2018. Within the primary sector, we have agriculture hunting and forestry increasing by 12.3 % or $9.5 million totaling $87 million. The Fishing Industry increased by 34% or $1.9 million totaling $7 million. As stated before the Agriculture Hunting and Forestry Industry increased by 12.3% or $9.5 million. This was attributed mainly to an increase in banana production of 22.5%, sugar production went up by 16.4% and an increase of livestock production of 1.8%. Citrus production, on the other hand, declined by 6.3%. This was mainly due to a drop in the orange fruit delivered due to a late starting production period toppled with a shortage of workers in that industry. Production within the secondary sector declined by 4.7%. This presents a $5.1 million decrease bringing the total for this industry to $102.4 million. Manufacturing and Mining Industry grew by 3.1% or $1.5 million bringing this industry total to $51 million. This increase was offset by decreases in the Electricity and Water Industry of 16.1% or $16 million and Construction Activities of $.0.6 million or 2.9%. The decrease in construction activities is largely due to a decrease in the loans for construction during the quarter.”

As mentioned the secondary industry experienced a decrease of 4.7%. The tertiary sector recorded an increase of 5%.   According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, the GDP estimates are produced from financial statements, production information from the government private, businesses and non-government organization.