New figures emerging from the Statistical Institute of Belize for the second quarter show that the country’s economy growth is somewhat dismal. In fact, after a mere 0.1 percent growth for the first three months of the year 2013, figures from S.I.B show that the economy was only able to edge up 1 percent in the second quarter, putting growth for the first half of the year at 0.5 percent.
The Statistical Institute of Belize reports that the three most influential contributors to the slight upturn of the economy in the second quarter of this year were Fishing, Construction and Government Services. Fishing was based primarily on Shrimp production which rebounded strongly following the reopening of Belize Aquaculture Limited, which had ceased operations for more than two years.
A ten percent expansion in construction activity was also experienced. This was positively impacted by a large increase in the importation of construction materials such as building cement and steel rods.
The Petroleum, electricity and agriculture sectors suffered the most significant decline in the second quarter of 2013. Oil production continued to take a nose dive falling by 26 percent and reaching its lowest level for any calendar quarter in the past three years. Due to insufficient rainfall at the two hydroelectric plants, electricity generation fell by a similar margin.
In the Agriculture sector, the decline is mainly attributed to the fall in sugarcane and citrus production. In the case of sugar, the significant increase in the milling rate at the Tower Hill Sugar Factory caused a large percentage of the crop to be harvested in the first three months of the year effectively reducing the output in the second quarter. The decline in Citrus Production is attributed to the inclement weather during the flowering period.
The S.I.B also reported that among the country’s other main industries, there was increased production of livestock and soft drinks, but these were offset by lower output of flour and citrus concentrate.
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