By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter
The Statistical Institute of Belize is presenting its latest publications this week.
The SIB, at a press conference scheduled for Wednesday at the Central Bank of Belize conference room, will present the First Quarter Gross Domestic Product for 2015, as well as the consumer price index and external trade bulletin for the month of April.
The first quarter GDP will provide a snapshot of the country’s economic performance from January to April, while the ETB will show the amount of imports and exports Belize has made during the same period. The CPI will show to what degree, if any, the prices of commodities and services have either decreased or increased for the month of April.
The SIB, the statutory body responsible for collecting compiling and disseminating this form of data, periodically presents the results of these and other forms of surveys, the most recent being the National Child Activity Survey 2013, presented on May 8.
In presenting the National budget back in March Prime Minister Dean Barrow explained that the Central Bank of Belize estimated GDP growth for 2015 to be between 2.0 percent and 2.5 percent, down from 3.6 percent in the 2013-2014 budgets. The data presented on Wednesday will have some bearing on whether or not that estimation remains constant. The CPI statistics for first quarter 2015 showed that from January to March the price of goods remained between 1 percent and 1.2 percent cheaper than when compared to the same period last year.
Successive ETBs have shown a continued widening of the country’s trade deficit, with the value of imports surpassing the revenue derived from exports.