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Belize - Open Map
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Economy - overview: The small, essentially private enterprise economy is based primarily on agriculture, agro-based industry, and merchandising, with tourism and construction assuming greater importance. Sugar, the chief crop, accounts for nearly half of exports, while the banana industry is the country's largest employer. The government's tough austerity program in 1997 resulted in an economic slowdown that continued in 1998. The trade deficit has been growing, mostly as a result of low export prices for sugar and bananas. The new government faces important challenges to economic stability. Rapid action to improve tax collection has been promised, but a lack of progress in reining in spending could bring the exchange rate under pressure. The tourist and construction sectors strengthened in early 1999, leading to a preliminary estimate of revived growth at 4%.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $740 million (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 4% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $3,100 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 22%
industry: 22%
services: 56% (1998)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): -0.9% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 71,000
note: shortage of skilled labor and all types of technical personnel (1997 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 38%, industry 32%, services 30% (1994)

Unemployment rate: 14.3% (1998)

revenues: $140 million
expenditures: $180 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997)

Industries: garment production, food processing, tourism, construction

Industrial production growth rate: -4.4% (1998)

Electricity - production: 175 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 57.14%
hydro: 42.86%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 163 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: bananas, coca, citrus, sugarcane; lumber; fish, cultured shrimp

Exports: $150 million (f.o.b., 1998)

Exports - commodities: sugar, bananas, citrus fruits, clothing, fish products, molasses, wood

Exports - partners: US 45.5%, UK 30%, EU 10%, Caricom 4.2%, Mexico 3.4%, Canada 3.3% (1997)

Imports: $320 million (c.i.f., 1998)

Imports - commodities: machinery and transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, fuels, chemicals, pharmaceuticals

Imports - partners: US 52%, Mexico 13%, UK 5% (1997)

Debt - external: $380 million (1997)

Economic aid - recipient: $23.4 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Belizean dollar (Bz$) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Belizean dollars (Bz$) per US$1 - 2.0000 (fixed rate)

Fiscal year: 1 April - 31 March

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