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#495096 - 08/28/14 10:34 AM GDP Growth Surges With Strong Sugar Showing
Marty Offline

and A Citrus Rebound

GDP Growth Surges With Strong Sugar Showing, and A Citrus Rebound

In May, we told you about the negative growth of GDP in the first quarter of the year. That’s after the GDP for the 2013-2104 fiscal year came in at just 1.5%, less than the projected 2.5%. So, for a while now, GDP growth has been lackluster. But, the news tonight is that thanks for a strong performance by sugar and a rebounding citrus industry, the second quarter of 2014 has shown the strongest growth of any quarter in memory. The Statistical Institute of Belize released the figures at a press conference today and Jules Vasquez reports:…

Second quarter GDP growth was impressive, 8.7% – much stronger than any second quarter in recent times or memory – and much better than last year’s measly 1.8% during the same period. Pushing that growth is performance in the what’s called the primary sector, mainly agriculture and forest and mainly Sugar which saw and 80% increase in the second quarterThis chart shows how strong the spike was in sugar – while Citrus – the purple line - had fair growth and bananas in green was a virtual flatline.Sugar also pushed up the manufacturing sector, and so did greater production of beer and rum.

Jefte Ochaeta, Statistician I

"Where we saw beer increasing it's production by 13.2 percent, and rum by 74.4 percent. The main reason is that in Belize we are enjoying our liquor. There is a high demand for it even though the export of rum has increased substantially by 7 percent."

A strong showing in the tourism sector also fuelled growth in the second quarter where Belize’s growth was twice that of the United States and 7 times that of Mexico.The consumer price index, or inflation for July was also a regional standout –it was the lowest in Central America and some of the Caribbean.

Jefte Ochaeta

"Jamaica continues to have the highest inflation in the region and Belize is showing the lowest inflation at 1.3 percent and closest to us is El Salvador with 1.8 percent. Mexico has increased their inflation to 4.1 percent and the United States to 2.0 percent."

Prices went up in some areas,but major food products were down and so were fruits.This charts shows that meat prices were up – same for red kidney beans.Inflation was lowest in the Belize district, highest in San Ignacio.

Jefte Ochaeta

"San Ignacio has been the one showing the highest inflation at 2.5 percent. The main reason is that in San Ignacio we observe the highest inflation in the rent at 4.9 percent."

For the first 7 months of the year, overall imports were up by 68 million, and exports down – but imports in the Corozal Free Zone were down sharply again.

Javan Chavarria, Statistician II

"The reason for the large increase in the machine and transport category was because of an increase import of motor vehicles for the transport of goods."

We note that the Statistical Institute of Belize currently does not currently have a director general Glen Avilez moved on. It’s next press conference will be in November.

Channel 7


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#495101 - 08/28/14 10:58 AM Re: GDP Growth Surges With Strong Sugar Showing [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

2nd Quarter Stats is a Mixed Bag

The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its latest economic figures corresponding to the second quarter of 2014. All be told, transportation shot up by ten percent while the basket of food went down slightly by point three percent. But there is concern over a continuous downward spiral in crude production, citrus and sugar. News Five’s Isani Cayetano has a report.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The Consumer Price Index, a measure of changes in the cost of commodities and services purchased by households, has been issued for the month of July.  CPI, as it is known, is a statistical estimate calculated using the costs of a sample of representative items whose prices are collected periodically. While the inflation rate remains fixed at one point three percent, a nominal increase from the same period last year, higher prices are being reported in respect of transport and housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels.

Jefte Ochaeta, Statistician, Statistical Institute of Belize

Jefte Ochaeta

“The higher prices were observed in transportation services where they increased by ten percent mainly due to an increase of twenty-four point one percent in airfares, water, electricity, gas and other fuels where we saw the overall expenditure category increasing by one point three percent.  We had rent prices going up by one point four percent, water prices going up by six point nine percent in this category.  Accommodation services increased by six percent where we had international hotel services increasing by thirteen point two percent.  So that’s what we have observed in the main categories that moved the index since May.”

The annual percentage change in a CPI is a measure of inflation and can also be used to express the real value of wages, salaries and pensions, as well as the cost of food, et cetera.  For the first time since 2011, the food index fell slightly in July, reflecting lower prices across most categories.

Jefte Ochaeta

“Now the food index actually decreased in the month of July by point three percent.  We hadn’t seen a decrease in the food index, however, that doesn’t mean that the prices of food were cheaper than last month.  Rather, the food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by point three percent from June.  But corresponding the month of July of 2013, there are the categories where we saw the decrease for 2014.  Meat; meat products went down by point four percent, eggs went down by fourteen point five percent, pasta products went down by one point three percent.  There was also some upward movement in prices where vegetables moved by two point two percent and seafood increased by one point three and fruits, they decreased by four point five percent.”

The Gross Domestic Product, GDP, on the other hand, grew by eight point seven percent in the second quarter, from April to June, bringing the cumulative economic growth for the first half of the year to three point seven percent.   This succeeded a slight decline in the first quarter where the growth rate was minus zero point four percent.  Where external trade is concerned, Belize brought in more goods between January and July of this year when compared to the same period in 2013.

Representative, SIB

“In the first seven months of 2014, Belize imported goods totaling one point one four billion dollars.  This was increase of sixty-eight point four million dollars or a six point four percentage increase.  The largest increases were in the machinery and transport equipment category which was up by twenty point three million dollars and also the mineral fuels and lubricants category which was up by twenty point two million dollars.  The reason for the large increase in the machinery and transport equipment category was because of an increase in the import of motor vehicles for the transport of goods and in the mineral fuels it was an increase of diesel oil being imported.”

Despite positive growth being recorded in sugarcane, oranges, livestock, tourism, rum and beer, there was a marked decline in petroleum, bananas, shrimp and government services.  Export revenues reflect that decrease.

Representative, SIB

“Export revenues totaled three hundred and ninety point three million dollars for this period and this was a decrease of fifty-five point four million dollars or twelve point four percent over 2013.  We had crude petroleum, sugar and orange concentrate combined for a decrease of forty-nine million of the total fifty-five point four million dollars decrease.  We had crude down by twenty-one million dollars or twenty-four percent, sugar was down by twenty-two million dollars or twenty-two percent and citrus concentrate was down by six million dollars or eight percent.”

Over half of all exports for the month of July were destined for the United States; the UK and the European Union accounting for twenty-eight percent, while CARICOM, where there is a growing market for non-traditional exports such as animal feeds and grains,  received nine percent of total exports.

Overall, exports were down by fifty-five point four million dollars to three hundred and ninety million dollars compared to the same period a year ago. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Channel 5


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#495103 - 08/28/14 11:04 AM Re: GDP Growth Surges With Strong Sugar Showing [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Statistical Institute Of Belize

HIPOLITO NOVELO: “According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, the Consumer Price Index for July is 1.3% while the average inflation for the first 7 months of 2014 is at 1.5%. The food index reduced in the month of July by 3.5%. Voice 1: So the higher prices were observed in the transportation services where they increased by 10% mainly due to an increase in 24.1% in air fares, housing, water/electricity, gas and other fuels where we saw the over all expenditure category increasing by 1.3%. We had rent prices going up by 1.4%. Water prices going up by 6.9% in this category. Accommodation services increased by 6% where we had international hotel services increasing by 13.2%.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO: “The highest inflation was recorded in Santa Elena/San Ignacio with 2.5% attributed to the highest inflation of rent at 4.9%. Belize City recorded the lowest at 0.8%. As for the External Trade Statistics, according to Statistician, Javan Charvarria, in the first seven months of 2014, Belize imported goods totaling $1.14 billion dollars- an increase of $68 million dollars or 6.4%. In July alone, Belize imports were valued at $184.9 million.”

INTERVIEWEE1: The largest increases were in the machinery and transport category which was up by $20.3 million dollars and also the mineral fuels and lubricants category which was up by $20.2 million dollars. The reason for the large increase in the machinery and transport equipment category was because of an increased import of motor vehicles for the transport of goods and in the mineral fuels it was an increase of diesel oil being imported. The only two categories to show a decline were the CFZ imports which was down by $26.2 million and also chemical products which was down by $3.8 million. In the CFZ area we saw a decline in the amount of tobacco cigarettes being imported and in the chemical products section we saw a slight decline in the amount of granular fertilizer being imported.

HIPOLITO NOVELO: “Belize’s largest supplier is the United States of America while Curacao, from which Belize imports its fuel, is the country second largest supplier. Over a half of all Belize’s merchandise exports for the month were destined for the US, while the United Kingdom and the European Union accounted for 28 percent. Almost 9 percent of total exports went to the CARICOM region, where there is a growing market for non-traditional exports such as animal feed and grains.”

INTERVIEWEE 1:We had crude petroleum and orange concentrate combine for a decrease of $49 million of the total $55.4 million dollar decrease. We had crude down by $21million or 25%. Sugar was down by $22million or 22% and citrus concentrate was down by $6million dollars or 8%.

HIPOLITO NOVELO: “According to the SIB, there has been an increase of economic activity by 8.7% in Belize.”

INTERVIEWEE 2: What we observed in the primary industries were that agriculture and forestry increased by 26.1% where we saw that the amount of sugar cane produced and delivered increased substantially by 79.7% which would have been 260,000 tons more delivered to the factory in this period. We also saw that citrus increased by 65% and the reason is that there was 44,000 tons more delivered also. Banana declined by 2.5% that was a minimal decline, we only had 7,000 tons less from the previous year.

“HIPOLITO NOVELO”: Livestock increase by 23% as 8000 heads of cattle have been exported so far this year compared to the 5000 exported last year.

LOVEFM



Export earnings plunge $55 mil despite 3.7% GDP growth, Jan to July 2014

Belize’s economy declined marginally by 0.4% for the first quarter of 2014, but the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported an upturn in economic growth for second quarter by 8.7%, bringing the total growth estimate for the first half of 2014 to 3.7%.

The news was announced at a press conference held at the Central Bank of Belize this morning, and while the SIB official presenting the data, Jefte Ochaeta, Statistician II, said that he did not have information on what this growth means in dollars and cents, he did indicate to us that the growth in the primary industries, agriculture, forestry and fishing, up by 13.2%, represented a $13.9 million increase in production.


Meanwhile, the 20.4% growth in secondary industries: manufacturing and mining, and electricity and water, represented a $22.1 million growth in production, while growth in the tertiary industries, the services sector, recorded at 2.6%, represents an increase of $9.4 million in production.

The high level of economic growth, said Ochaeta, was primarily due to a boost in sugar and citrus production.

In a news release, the SIB noted that, “After two consecutive quarters of negative growth, agriculture rebounded by 26 percent, as two of the three major crops recorded considerable increases. Sugarcane deliveries rose by 80 percent compared to the second quarter of 2013 while citrus, specifically oranges, went up by 68 percent.”


Meanwhile, banana production was down marginally, as periodic cold fronts between November of last year and March of this year slowed the growth of this fruit, the SIB said.

Between January and July, Belize imported goods totaling $1.14 billion but export revenues totaled $390.3 million, a decrease of $55.4 million or 12.4% compared to 2013.

Inflation for July 2014 was 1.3 percent, unchanged from the previous month, according to the SIB, which indicated that Belize’s inflation is the lowest in Central America.


Belize GDP – Second Quarter

Amandala



Data Shows Fall in Inflation Rate

The Statistical Institute of Belize, has release it latest figures for the month of August 2014. The SIB shares that the inflation rate for August was 0.9 percent, a decrease from 1.3% recorded in July. According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, the consumer price index for August 2014 stood at 103.6, compared to 102.7 in the same month in 2013. San Ignacio/Santa Elena had the highest inflation rate of the seven municipalities at 1.7 percent. Punta Gorda and Dangriga were both also above the national average with rates of 1.3 and 1.1, respectively. The lowest was recorded in Corozal Town, where inflation was only 0.4 percent. The average inflation rate for the first eight months of the year was 1.4 percent. The small increase in the August inflation rate was due to higher home rental rates, international airfares, and insurance premiums.

As for imports, during the month of August 2014, Belize imported goods valued at a total of $158.5 million, increasing by over $11 million or 7.6 percent from $147.3 in August of 2013. (VO 2 STARTS) This increase was almost entirely as a result of imports of ‘Food and Live Animals’ and ‘Chemical Products’, which rose by $5.9 million and $5.5 million, respectively. For the first eight months of 2014, imports totalled $1.3 billion, growing by almost $80 million or 6.5 percent compared to the same period in 2013. The SIB reports that for Belize Domestic Exports, the country earned $74.4 million for the month of August, an increase of more than $20 million compared to August 2013. Sugar exports for the month more than tripled to $34 million and accounted for almost a half of total earnings for August. Marine exports, boosted by shrimp and lobster sales, rose by $1.4 million to $10.6 million, while earnings from bananas rose by just under $1 million to $7.4 million. Petroleum exports, continuing the downward trend of recent years, fell by $2.5 million to $12.2 million during the month. Goods exported during the period January to August 2014 totalled $464.3 million, almost $35 million less than in the same period in 2013.

LOVEFM


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#496105 - 09/26/14 11:00 AM Re: GDP Growth Surges With Strong Sugar Showing [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

SIB: 2014’s 3rd Quarter Experienced Lower Inflation

The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its latest inflation and trade figures.

First, the SIB found that inflation for August was 0.9%, compared to 1.3% in July - which brings the rate for the first eight months of 2014 to 1.4 percent.

The SIB found that food prices actually fell in August in all categories except for Fish and Seafood.

Inflation in San Ignacio/Santa Elena was highest of any municipality at 1.7 percent, while the lowest figure was recorded in Corozal Town, where inflation was only 0.4 percent.

And, in August 2014, imports increased again $11 million dollars more than August of 2013. The SIB notes, though, that imports of 'Manufactured Goods', in particular cement, were down by over $3 million from last August. The value of goods going into the commercial free zones also declined by $1.6 million.

But exports were up, 20 million more than August of last year. That;s mostly due to Sugar exports which more than tripled to $34 million dollars and accounted for almost a half of total earnings for August.

Channel 7


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#496110 - 09/26/14 11:22 AM Re: GDP Growth Surges With Strong Sugar Showing [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

SIB Releases Latest Statistics for 2014

Food prices, often one of the primary drivers of economic inflation, saw a marginal decline in the month of August, with average costs decreasing in all areas save for fish and seafood.  That’s according to the latest release from the Statistical Institute of Belize indicating that inflation slowed to zero point nine percent last month.  The consumer price index, however, when compared to the same time last year, shows a slight increase, from one hundred and two point seven to one hundred and three point six.  The nominal increase is attributed to a rise in home rental prices, international airfares and higher insurance premiums.  Home rentals across all municipalities rose by two percent from 2013.  The cost of traveling abroad has also seen a sharp increase over the past few months but only three percent higher when compared to August 2013.  Meanwhile, health and motor vehicle insurance rates were up three and six percent, respectively. In respect of last month’s imports, a total of a hundred and fifty-eight million dollars worth of goods was imported into the country, representing an increase of seven point six percent or eleven million dollars from August 2013.  The spike is the result of the imports of foods and livestock, as well as chemical products which went up by five and a half million dollars, respectively.  In the first eight months of 2014, Belize imported one point three billion dollars in goods, including fuels and lubricants which went up by twenty-one million dollars.  Correspondingly, the importation of machinery and transport equipment increased by the same amount was bolstered by the purchases of delivery trucks and private vehicles. Domestic exports, on the other hand, went up by more than twenty million dollars or thirty-eight point eight percent for seventy-four point four million dollars in earnings in August.  

Channel 5


SIB Reports On Imports and Exports

Other statistics released today was that of the External Trade for the month of August. The figures dictates that imports for August to Belize were valued at a total of $158.5 million, increasing by over $11 million or 7.6 percent from $147.3 in August of 2013. This increase was due entirely as a result of imports of ‘Food and Live Animals’ and ‘Chemical Products’, which rose by $5.9 million and $5.5 million, respectively. Imports of ‘Manufactured Goods’, in particular building cement, were down by over $3 million from last August. The value of goods going into the commercial free zones also declined by $1.6 million, even as imports destined for the export processing zones increased by $1.7 million during the month. The first eight months of this year, imports totalled $1.3 billion, growing by almost $80 million or 6.5 percent compared to the same period in 2013. ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ increased by almost the same amount, boosted by purchases of vehicles for personal use and for the transportation of goods.

Turning into domestic exports, the figures show that earnings for August were valued at $74.4 million, rising by more than $20 million or 38.8 percent in comparison to the same month last year. Sugar exports for the month more than tripled to $34 million and accounted for almost a half of total earnings for August. Marine exports, boosted by shrimp and lobster sales, rose by $1.4 million to $10.6 million, while earnings from bananas rose by just under $1 million to $7.4 million. Petroleum exports, continuing the downward trend of recent years, fell by $2.5 million to $12.2 million during the month. The report reveals that with sugar exports bound primarily for the United Kingdom, this country overtook the United States as Belize’s largest source of export earnings. These two countries together accounted for 8 out of every 10 dollars earned from merchandise exports during August, with goods sold to the United Kingdom valued at $37.9 million and those sold to the United States totalling $20.7 million. Goods exported during the period January to August 2014 totalled $464.3 million, almost $35 million less than in the same period in 2013.

Diminishing crude petroleum exports were responsible for the greatest portion of this decline. Of the other three major exports, only sugar was able to slightly surpass its earnings for the first eight months of 2013, growing from $107.1 million to $108.9 million. Both bananas and orange concentrate were down for the period, the former falling from $58.6 million to $56.6 million and the latter from $81.1 million to $74.1 million.

CTV3


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