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July 2020 External Trade & CPI, 2nd Quarter GDP #544473
08/26/20 10:55 AM
08/26/20 10:55 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,913
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Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Statistical Institute of Belize Press Conference
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Re: July 2020 External Trade & CPI, 2nd Quarter GDP [Re: Marty] #544482
08/27/20 04:08 AM
08/27/20 04:08 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 81,913
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Economy contracts 23.3% in the second quarter, consumer prices up 0.1%, and both imports and domestic exports down 37.8% and 37.3% respectively in July 2020.

Today, the Statistical Institute of Belize published its latest statistics on the consumer price index, external trade, and the 2nd quarter 2020 gross domestic product.

Consumer Price Index

The most recent figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize’s monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) survey show that, as of July 2020, the All-Items CPI stood at 105.4, a marginal overall increase of 0.1 percent from 105.2 in July 2019. This was the result of higher home rental costs and prices for a variety of food items being balanced out by substantially lower prices for fuel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). The cumulative inflation rate for the first seven months of 2020, when compared to the same period in 2019, stood at 0.2 percent.

Click the following link to read more: Consumer Price Index, July 2020

Merchandise Trade

In July 2020, Belize imported goods valuing $119 million. This represented a 37.8 percent or $72.4 million decrease from the same month last year. Merchandise imports for the first seven months of the year, January to July 2020,
amounted to $912.8 million, representing a 19.3 percent or almost $219 million decrease from the same period last year, when imports totaled $1.1 billion.

The total value of Belize’s domestic exports for the month of July 2020 was just under $29 million, down by a substantial 37.3 percent or $17.2 million when compared to exports for July 2019, which were valued at $46.2 million. Merchandise exports for the period January to July 2020 totaled $220.4 million, down 13.1 percent or $33.3 million from the $253.7 million recorded for the same period last year.

Click the following link to read more: External Trade, July 2020

Gross Domestic Product

The Statistical Institute of Belize’s Gross Domestic Product estimates for the second quarter, April to June of 2020, indicated that the country’s overall level of economic activity declined sharply by 23.3 percent when compared to the second quarter of 2019. The total value of goods and services produced within Belize during the period were valued at $558.6 million, down by $169.9 million from $728.5 million produced during the same three months of 2019.

Click the following link to read more: Gross Domestic Product, 2nd Quarter 2020

GDP Contracted By 23% in 2nd Quarter

The Statistical Institute of Belize today released the figures for the second quarter of 2020. That's April first to June 30th, three months which were spent mostly under lockdown. And the figures reflect that. Belize's GDP took a historic nosedive, contracting by 23% in that second quarter.

Here's more from the SIB's quarterly press conference which was held virtually today via ZOOM:

Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician II, SIB
"For the second quarter months of April to June 2020 Belize produced goods and services totaling $558.6 million dollars. This represents a decrease of $169.9 million dollars or 23.3 percent when compared to the second quarter of 2019."

Jules Vasquez:
"Would you say the main reason for the sharp decline in the GDP was the total shutdown of the services sector, virtually total shutdown?"

Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician II, SIB
"Yes, agreed, the decrease was mainly due to the impact of COVID19 with the restrictions and like you mentioned the shutdown that occurred but for example like the primary sector we did notice that the drought contributed to the decline in that sector."

While Belize's GDP contracted by 23% in the second quarter, for comparison Barbados was down 27% in that same period, while Mexico was down 20%, and the USA was down 32%.

Beer Production Declined Sharply During Shutdown

And, in the secondary sector, which covers manufacturing, electricity and water and construction, production at the Belikin factory was way, way down. That has to do with the cancellation of tourist arrivals and the shutdown of bars. Here's more on that decline in beverage production in the second quarter:

Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician II, SIB
"Within the manufacturing and mining industry, beverage production suffered immensely from the lack of tourist visitors to the country, the closure of restaurants and bars and the restrictions placed on alcohol production due to COVID19. Production declined by a significant 31.1 percent. Beer production dropped 46.6 percent and soft drink production also declined 7.7 percent during the period. A total of 401.2 thousand gallons of beer was produced in 2020 down 350.1 thousand gallons or 46.6 percent from 2019. We know that in terms of beer they had a lot of difficulties due to COVID they could not produce alcohol due to restrictions that were placed during COVID19 so they did experience a decline due to that, also in terms of local consumption restaurants were closed, bars were closed so they could not sell beer, people weren't buying anything because even if you are going to the store there is a restriction on number of persons that were allowed in stores so a lot of restrictions were placed so we did see a significant decrease in beer production."

Imports’s Record Decline

And looking now at imports and exports, the widespread economic slowdown in the second quarter also led to a sharp decline in imports for the first six months of 2020. Imports were also way down - and the only thing that went up is cooking oil:

Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II
"For the period January to July 2020 Belize's imports were valued at nine hundred and twelve point eight million dollars. This was a notable decrease of nineteen point three percent or almost two hundred and nineteen million dollars when compared to January to July of 2019. This drop in effect highlight the economic impact of the COVID 19 pandemic as weakened demand of merchandise goods prompted decrease imports across almost all commodity category over the period. With a falloff in imported quantities in diesel, regular, kerosene and bunker sea fuel coupled with lower world market prices for fuel the mineral fuels and lubricants categories saw the largest decline falling by forty one percent or seventy four point seven million to one hundred and six point three million."

"The last time we had a drop in imports was in 2016 and 2017 and that was like a 4% - 5% drop. This is a 19.3% drop and I'm talking about between that same period, so that gives you a real understanding of the impact of this decline."

Exports Were Down, But Bananas and Beans Went Up

And, of course, during that worldwide slowdown, exports also declined across many sectors, including petroleum exportation where not a single barrel of oil has been exported.

Here's more:

Tiffany Vasquez, Statistician II
"For the period January to July of 2020 Belize's Domestic Exports were valued at $220.4 million dollars, this was a decrease of 13.1 percent or $33.3 million when compared to exports of January to July 2019. While this overall downturn was the result of decreased revenues for a few of our major exports, one can't discount the role world market process played in this outcome. Earnings from crude petroleum plunged by $12.9 million dollars after having had no shipments of this commodity since the start of the year. Despite the decline in total export earnings, some commodities fared well over the period, revenues from bananas went up by 4 percent or $1.7 million dollars to 49 million. The largest increase however, came from red kidney beans with revenues from this product rising by nearly $3 million dollars to $10.2 million." Beans are exported to the UAE.

Channel 7

Economy Contracted by 23.3% between April and June 2020

There is grim economic news tonight; the economy contracted by twenty-three point three percent in the second quarter. That is the highest contraction we’ve seen in the past two decades. In fact, it is the largest quarterly decline to date. The decline reflects the effects of COVID-19 on economies across the region through external and domestic factors. The Statistical Institute of Belize today reported that economic activity was down across all three sectors. The sharp decline was recording during the months of April to June 2020. The total value of goods and services produced during that period was five hundred and fifty eight million dollars, a one hundred and sixty nine million dollars decrease. The S.I.B. says that this marked the country’s fifth consecutive quarterly period of economic contraction. The hotel and restaurant industry saw a decrease of ninety-nine point four percent due to the pandemic. The services sector was the most impacted.

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