Belize Economy: from the All Country Info reference guide to country facts

Belize Economy

Belize Economy: A summary of information about Belize Economy, from government research data as well as independent research and other sources.

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Belize: Economy

Economy - overview
The small, essentially private enterprise economy
is based primarily on agriculture, agro-based industry, and
merchandising, with tourism and construction assuming greater
importance. Sugar, the chief crop, accounts for nearly half of
exports, while the banana industry is the country's largest employer.
The government's tough austerity program in 1997 resulted in an
economic slowdown that continued in 1998. The trade deficit has been
growing, mostly as a result of low export prices for sugar and
bananas. The new government faces important challenges to economic
stability. Rapid action to improve tax collection has been promised,
but a lack of progress in reining in spending could bring the exchange
rate under pressure. The tourist and construction sectors strengthened
in early 1999, leading to a preliminary estimate of revived growth at
4%.
GDP
purchasing power parity - $740 million (1999 est.)
GDP - real growth rate
4% (1999 est.)
GDP - per capita
purchasing power parity - $3,100 (1999 est.)
GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 22%
industry: 22%
services: 56% (1998)
Population below poverty line
NA%
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
-0.9% (1999 est.)
Labor force
71,000
note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel
(1997 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture 38%, industry 32%, services
30% (1994)
Unemployment rate
14.3% (1998)
Budget
revenues: $140 million
expenditures: $180 million, including capital expenditures of $NA
(1997)
Industries
garment production, food processing, tourism, construction
Industrial production growth rate
-4.4% (1998)
Electricity - production
175 million kWh (1998)
Electricity - production by source
fossil fuel: 57.14%
hydro: 42.86%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)
Electricity - consumption
163 million kWh (1998)
Electricity - exports
0 kWh (1998)
Electricity - imports
0 kWh (1998)
Agriculture - products
bananas, coca, citrus, sugarcane; lumber;
fish, cultured shrimp
Exports
$150 million (f.o.b., 1998)
Exports - commodities
sugar, bananas, citrus fruits, clothing, fish
products, molasses, wood
Exports - partners
US 45.5%, UK 30%, EU 10%, Caricom 4.2%, Mexico
3.4%, Canada 3.3% (1997)
Imports
$320 million (c.i.f., 1998)
Imports - commodities
machinery and transportation equipment,
manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals
Imports - partners
US 52%, Mexico 13%, UK 5% (1997)
Debt - external
$380 million (1997)
Economic aid - recipient
$23.4 million (1995)
Currency
1 Belizean dollar (Bz$) = 100 cents
Exchange rates
Belizean dollars (Bz$) per US$1 - 2.0000 (fixed rate)
Fiscal year
1 April - 31 March
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