Analysis of Belize economy 

Prime Minister of Belize and Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment, John Briceno

By Government press office | BELIZE

BELMOPAN, Belize – The government of Belize continues consultations with social partners in the public and private sector, the ministry of finance 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 percent  to almost 30 percent.
  • With underemployment also increasing from 22.7 percent to 38 percent, almost 68 percent 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 percent or over $300 million 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 $234 million in 2008 to $684 million 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 $700 million of debt while it took the last government one year to rack up financing requirements of over $500 million in 2020.
  • Since 2008, government debt has increased by almost $2 billion with domestic debt more than tripling from $333 million to $1.3 billion and external debt other than the superbond more than doubling from $830 million to $1.77 billion.
  • At 134.1 percent, Belize now has the highest debt-to-GDP ratio in the entire Caribbean and Central American region.


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