The Belize Central Bank has issued the latest economic update. A perusal of the document shows inconsistent figures with previous projections from other official sources. The most important forecasted growth is the Gross Domestic Product, (GDP). The Central Bank points out that in 2013; economic growth is expected to be two point seven percent, just above the countryís long term average of two point five percent. However, the last IMF report on November fifteenth, 2012 projects an estimated growth of three point five to four percent. Weeks later, the Government revised its figures upwards. In the Prime Ministerís New Yearís address, he projected an upward economic expansion of seven percent which is the figure the unions used in arguing for a salary adjustment. This is an additional three point five percent in revenues or an additional forty million in the government coffers. According to the Prime Ministerís New Yearís address, the seven percent would have exceeded all expectations including the IMF projection of three point five percent. The Central Bank forecast of two point seven percent is therefore not in line with the IMF or the governments figures. There is another point to note. According to the Central Bank report, the growth forecast of two point seven, stems from loss in economic activity in manufacturing, agriculture, tourism, oil, and construction activity. This contradicts the previous glowing analysis of the sectors in the Prime Ministerís New Yearís message. This afternoon we asked the Central Bank of Belize to explain the discrepancy between the two point seven percent stated today and the seven percent stated in the Prime Ministerís speech. They referred us to the Statistical Institute of Belize, but SIB referred us back to Central Bank.

Channel 5