The Central Bank has released latest figures on the economy. According to the economic brief, GDP grew by seven point four percent in the first half of the year. That is the good news, the negative is that inflation increased, cruise tourism numbers decreased and there was a significant decrease in oil production. Growths in agriculture, agro-manufacturing, electricity generation, and overnight tourism compensated for the downturn in petroleum extraction and shrimp production. Inflation is now at one point eight percent up from one point five percent in August of this year. The brunt of high prices combined with high gas prices continue to horde a heavy burden on the Belizean consumers.
In the agriculture sectors, specifically banana production increased by thirty-eight percent and citrus by twenty-seventy point two percent. Sugar production rose by nineteen point three percent in the first one hundred and eighty-eight days of this year. Oil production and output fell by twenty-seven point five percent to five hundred and forty-five thousand four hundred and forty one barrels. Cruise tourism disembarkations fell by five point eight percent to three hundred and thirty one thousand visitors. If we now look at spending and savings by the public sector – revenues increased by eleven point one percent due to increases to import duties, grant receipts and petroleum duties. Expenditures were also up by eleven point two percent which is more than what is earned by government. Consequently, the deficit increased further by eleven point two percent which means that government is hard pressed to identify other sources of income and to cut expenditure.