Belmopan- Statistics published by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) show a continued healthy growth of the economy in the last quarter of 2017.
For the three months October to December 2017, the total level of economic activity in the country of Belize increased by 2.8 percent. The Statistical Institute of Belize estimates that the total value of goods and
services produced during this period was $695.8 million, an increase of $19.1 million from $676.7 million produced in the fourth quarter of 2016.
All three sectors of the economy recorded increases, with the secondary sector experiencing the highest rate of growth at 5.1 percent, followed by the tertiary sector at 3.1 percent. The primary sector was almost unchanged during the period, growing by a marginal 0.1 percent.
The strong growth in the secondary sector was largely due to a strong performance in the “Electricity and Water” subsector. High water levels in the country’s dams coupled with an increase in demand resulted in a 20.6 percent jump in electricity generation from 86 thousand megawatt hours in the fourth quarter of 2016 to 103.7 megawatt hours in the fourth quarter of 2017. Water generation also continued its steady growth, rising by 1.6 percent from 599.8 million gallons to 609.3 million gallons, due to an increase in demand (see Figure 4).
With the spike in citrus fruit deliveries during the quarter, citrus concentrate production also surged, rising more than 400 percent in comparison to the same period of the previous year. Sugar production also saw some growth, increasing by 12.2 percent for the fourth quarter of 2017.
The tertiary sector also performed quite well. The “Hotel and Restaurant” subsector grew by 6.8 percent, despite a 5.6 percent reduction in cruise passengers due to fewer cruise ship calls in the month of December. With the increase in the number of direct routes to Belize, overnight visitors however rose by 17.6 percent for the fourth
quarter of 2017 (see Figure 5), the most notable growth being seen among visitors from the United States, Europe and Canada.
“Wholesale and Retail Trade” recorded an increase of 1.6 percent, as evidenced by expanded exports during the period, while “Government Services” rose by 3.8 percent.