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Government Releases The Country’s Current Economic State

At 134.1%, Belize now has the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the entire Caribbean and Central American region.  Belize’s unemployment rate has tripled in 2020 from ten point four percent to almost thirty percent.  This is one of several findings reported by the Government of Belize after the Ministry of Finance conducted a preliminary analysis on the state of the economy

At 134.1%, Belize now has the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the entire Caribbean and Central American region.  Belize’s unemployment rate has tripled in 2020 from ten point four percent to almost thirty percent.  This is one of several findings reported by the Government of Belize after the Ministry of Finance conducted a preliminary analysis on the state of the economy.   According to the report, Belize’s underemployment rate has more than tripled the average rate throughout the Caribbean, and has more than quadrupled throughout Central America.  The other findings reported are that the average income earned per person has been steadily declining.  In 2008 the earning per person was seven thousand four hundred and twelve dollars.  Eleven years later that figure stood at just over seven thousand dollars in 2019.  Within one year it further plummeted to five thousand eight hundred and forty three dollars in 2020.  This decline in the real GDP per capita has reduced the income levels similarly to where it was back twenty eight years ago in 1992.  Tying in with this fact is the increase in under-employment which has gone from twenty two point seven percent to thirty eight percent.  According to the Government, almost sixty eight percent of the labour force is left looking for work; government revenues have fallen by almost thirty percent, equivalent to three hundred million dollars in 2020, and the government’s expenditure is equivalent to thirty six cents out of every dollar spent.  The ministry’s report goes on to note that it has taken four successive administrations from independence to 1998 for the government to accumulate seven hundred million dollars of debt while it took the last government one year to rack up financing requirements of over five hundred million dollars in 2020.  Since 2008, government debt has increased by almost two billion dollars with domestic debt more than tripling from three hundred and thirty three million dollars to one point three Billion dollars.  As for the external debt, excluding the Superbond, it has more doubled from eight hundred and thirty million dollars to one point seven-seven billion dollars.  The figures are staggering and has led to several budget consultation meetings with the private sector, the unions and social partners.