Saturday, April 20, 2024

Analysis of the State of the Nation’s Economy


As the Government of Belize continues its consultations with social partners in the public and private sector, the Ministry of Finance has released the findings of a preliminary analysis into the state of the nation’s economy to date.
Please note below:
• Average income per person (real GDP per capita) has fallen steadily since 2008, from $7,412 in 2008 to $7,040 by 2019, and then plummeting to $5,843 in 2020.
• The dramatic fall in average income per person to $5,843 in 2020 has reduced our income levels to as low as it has been way back in 1992, over 28 years ago.
• Unemployment has almost tripled in 2020, from 10.4% to almost 30%.
• With underemployment also increasing from 22.7% to 38%, almost 68% of the labour force is left looking for work.
• Belize’s unemployment rate is more than triple the average unemployment rate throughout the Caribbean and more than quadruple that of Central America.
• Government revenues fell by almost 30% or over $300million in 2020.
• 36 cents out of every dollar spent on government expenditures is being borrowed to make payments.
• 83 cents out of every dollar of government revenues is being spent on wages, salaries and pensions.
• Wages and salaries have almost tripled – from $234million in 2008 to $684million in just 12 years.
• Heightened spending coupled with revenue shortfalls led to financing requirements of over half a billion dollars in 2020.
• It took four successive administrations from independence to 1998 for the government to accumulate $700million of debt while it took the last government one year to rack up financing requirements of over $500million in 2020.
• Since 2008, government debt has increased by almost $2billion with domestic debt more than tripling from $333million to $1.3billion and external debt other than the superbond more than doubling from $830million to $1.77billion.
• At 134.1%, Belize now has the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the entire Caribbean and Central American region.

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