The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its figures for the economy's second quarter. As we've reported growth for the first three months of the year was very sluggish at 0.1 per cent. Well, it inched up in the second three months of the year to 1 per cent, meaning that for the first halgf of the year, the economy grew by one half of one per cent - which is, at best, nominal.

The SIB reports that In the second three months Fishing, Construction and Government Services had an upturn. That fishing is based largely on farmed shrimp which "rebounded strongly after the reopening of Belize Aquaculture Limited, which had ceased operations for more than two years."

There was also a 10 percent expansion in construction activity, indicated by a spike in the importation of construction materials such as building cement and steel rods.

Petroleum, electricity and the agriculture Industries were in decline for the second successive quarter. Oil production was also sharply down, falling by 26 percent and reaching its lowest level for any calendar quarter in the past three years. The S-I-B reports that Electricity generation fell by a similar margin due to insufficient rainfall at the two hydroelectric plants.

The decline in the agriculture sector was due primarily to a fall in sugarcane and citrus production.

On the upside, the S-I-B found increased production of livestock and soft drinks, but downturns in the output of flour and citrus concentrate.

Channel 7