SIB Reveals Strong GDP Growth in Q2 2022 Despite Agriculture Struggles
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) held its fourth press conference for this year to deliver the most recent statistics on Belize’s economy. SIB delved into the details of the country’s Gross Domestic Product Estimates, the Consumer Price Index Statistics, and External Trade Statistics. For the year 2022, the country’s GDP saw a significant increase from the previous year. For this year, for the months, April to June, the data shows that production had totaled some one-point-three-one billion dollars in goods and services. In the second quarter, there was an increase of two point six percent, which is the highest in the last six years. Despite that increase, however, statistician, Christopher Hulse, indicated that the country’s main crops have not performed well which led to a decrease of 18.1 million dollars in the primary sector.
Christopher Hulse, Statistician II: “The primary sector contributed $90.5 million out of the $1.3 billion. This is a decrease of $18.1 million or 16.7% compared to quarter two of 2022. The reason for this decrease we observe falls both in agriculture, forestry and fishing and also mining. So agriculture down by 11.7% as the three major crops showed a decline and then mining is down 46.4%. Moving on into sugarcane. From 793,000 metric tons to 647.8 thousand metric tons this is an 18.3% decrease and this is attributed to adverse weather, lack of cane cutters and some aspects of the Frog Hopper pest. Then banana from 27.6 thousand metric tons to 16.5 thousand metric tons this is a decrease of 40% as the continued cost of inputs, disease pressure, adverse weather and the labor shortage continues to affect banana for the past quarters. And then lastly out of the major crops we look at citrus. From 26.7 thousand metric tons to 1.9 thousand metric tons this is a 93.1% decrease and again it continues to be plagued with citrus greening, the shortage of labor, high cost of inputs and we observed that most of the land is being diversified into other crops.”
And while crops were down, the country’s livestock production saw an overall increase. Hulse explained how the country’s livestock numbers went up by 12 percent for the second quarter of this year.
Christopher Hulse, Statistician II: “Overall we observed an increase from 8.5 thousands of heads to 11.8 thousand, this is a 38.6% increase and this is driven if we notice the yellow bar is the export and so that’s where we saw that increase and that’s pushing the livestock percentage up. For pig we just observed a small decrease from 10.1 to 9.8 thousands of heads that’s okay. Poultry 11.8 millions of pounds to 11.6 million that’s a 1.7% decrease. Marine exports overall fell by 10% even though shrimp observed a 49% increase but again all other fish or fishing products went from 372 thousands of pounds to 292.9 thousands of pounds. So looking at the volume percentage wise yes shrimp had a nice increase but volume wise to the industry the other fishing products is where the majority of the pounds lie.”