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Belize Economy looking up! World Bank Says

By Benjamin Flowers

The World Bank’s Global economic forecast predicts moderate economic growth in 2017.

The he World Bank’s January 2017 Global Economic Prospects report released on Tuesday, projected global economic growth at 2,7 percent, citing that obstacles to activity would recede among emerging market and developing economy commodity exporters. The report also said that domestic demand would remain strong among emerging and developing commodity importers.

The report projected that advanced economies, as a whole, would see 4.2 percent growth, climbing up from the 3.4 percent experienced in 2017. The bank also said that fiscal stimulus in the United States could spur faster domestic and global growth; however, that could be offset by rising trade protection.

“Nevertheless, the outlook is clouded by uncertainty about policy direction in major economies. A protracted period of uncertainty could prolong the slow growth in investment that is holding back low, middle, and high income countries.” the Bank said.

For Latin America and the Caribbean, the bank projects positive growth of 1.2 percent. For Latin America the bank anticipated that weakening investment in Mexico, on policy uncertainty in the United States, could keep growth from exceeding 1.8 percent. For the Caribbean, the bank projected stable growth at 3.1 percent.

“The Latin America and Caribbean region is on the verge of recovery after two years of recession.” The bank added. “Given low growth among the region’s major trading partners, and with commodity prices stabilizing around current lows, supporting a cyclical recovery is an immediate high-priority challenge.”

The bank recommended that, for the medium term, countries need to focus on structural reforms to rebuild policy buffers, reducing dependence on primary commodities, increasing investment.

For Belize specifically, the bank projected growth at 1.5 percent for 2017, moving up to 2.5 percent by 2019.

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