About Belize

Economy

 

Economy - overview:

In this small, essentially private-enterprise economy, tourism is the number one foreign exchange earner followed by exports of marine products, citrus, cane sugar, bananas, and garments. The government's expansionary monetary and fiscal policies, initiated in September 1998, led to sturdy GDP growth averaging nearly 4% in 1999-2007, though growth slipped to 2.1% in 2008 and -1.5% in 2009 as a result of the global slowdown, natural disasters, and the drop in the price of oil. Oil discoveries in 2006 bolstered economic growth. Exploration efforts continue and production increased a small amount in 2009. Major concerns continue to be the sizable trade deficit and sizable foreign debt. In February 2007, the government restructured nearly all of its public external commercial debt, which helped reduce interest payments and relieve some of the country's liquidity concerns. A key short-term objective remains the reduction of poverty with the help of international donors.


GDP (purchasing power parity):

$2.485 billion (2009 est.)
$2.522 billion (2008 est.)
$2.471 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$1.424 billion (2009 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

-1.5% (2009 est.)
2.1% (2008 est.)
1.2% (2007 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$8,100 (2009 est.)
$8,400 (2008 est.)
$8,400 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 29%
industry: 16.9%
services: 54.1% (2008 est.)

Labor force:

122,300
note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel (2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 10.2%
industry: 18.1%
services: 71.7% (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate:

8.1% (2008)
9.4% (2006)

Population below poverty line:

33.5% (2002 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

0.3% (2009 est.)
6.4% (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):

19.1% of GDP (2009 est.)

Budget:

revenues: $376.5 million
expenditures: $412.5 million (2009 est.)

Agriculture - products:

bananas, cacao, citrus, sugar; fish, cultured shrimp; lumber

Industries:

garment production, food processing, tourism, construction, oil

Industrial production growth rate:

0.5% (2009 est.)

Electricity - production:

213.5 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - production by source:

fossil fuel: 59.9%
hydro: 40.1%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - consumption:

198.5 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports:

248.4 million kWh (2005

Oil - production:

3,511 bbl/day (2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:

7,000 bbl/day (2008 est.)

Oil - exports:

2,260 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Oil - imports:

7,204 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.)

Current account balance:

$-80 million (2009 est.)
$-153.7 million (2008 est.)

Exports:

$395 million (2009 est.)
$464.7 million (2008 est.)

Exports - commodities:

sugar, bananas, citrus, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood, crude oil

Exports - partners:

US 36.9%, UK 22.3%, Italy 4.7%, Cote dIvoire 4.4%, Nigeria 4.2% (2008)

Imports:

$616 million (2009 est.)
$788.1 million (2008 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods; fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals; food, beverages, tobacco

Imports - partners:

US 38%, Mexico 13.1%, Cuba 7.9%, Guatemala 6.2%, China 4.3% (2008)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$200 million (31 December 2009 est.)
$166.2 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Debt - external:

$954.1 million (2008 est.)
$1.2 billion (June 2005 est.)

Economic aid - recipient:

$NA

Currency (code):

Belizean dollar (BZD)

Currency code:

BZD

Exchange rates:

Belizean dollars (BZD) per US dollar - 2 (2009), 2 (2008), 2 (2007), 2 (2006), 2 (2005)

Fiscal year:

1 April - 31 March

 
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