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Belize Economy Hits Lowest Levels Since Country’s Independence

Article Summary:

Belize’s economy worsened in 2011, low tourism arrivals, reduced foreign investment, as well as stagnate business growth; now all indications are that 2012 will be worse and even tighter economically for the Belizean people who face a multitude of failed economic plans from the Barrow administration.

Original Article Text From Belize Times:

Business worsened in 2011 – Low tourism arrivals; reduced foreign investment; businesses closing down
All indications are that 2012 will be even tougher and tighter for the Belizean people in the face of the failed economic plans of the Barrow regime. Since taking over in 2008, the economy of this nation has plummeted to new levels in the history of independent Belize, including a decline that led to zero growth in 2009.

Everyone will agree that the past four years has yielded nothing but higher cost of living, victimization, and unbearable and unprecedented taxation. In a Channel Five online poll conducted for the Christmas holidays, a wide majority admitted that Christmas of 2011 was their worst yet.

The figures will show that since March 2008, direct foreign investment has taken a downward spiral with no hope for any immediate improvement. It went from $139m in 2007 to a meager $38m in 2011. Without new foreign investment, the economy shrinks.

The Unemployment rate shot up to 33% in 2011. The youth unemployment rate is at 50%.There are more graduates each year that can’t find jobs. Just imagine that today one in every three employable person does not have a job to feed or help their families.

But that is not all. Coupled with this reality is the fact that investments that were already made have been lost by the closure of hundreds of businesses. Just a quick check with the weekly newspapers reveals that more and more businesses and homes are closing or are up for sale, no matter their size: Juanitas, Malics, Central Drug Store, Caribbean Tobacco Company Limited, A&R Gas Station, Mena Group of Companies, Fabros, British Forces Radio Station, JMA Motors, and Royal Motors were just a few.

Just after Christmas, Channel 7 did its own investigation into the business climate, and discovered that for many retailers 2011 was a nightmare.

“The year was sluggish, and it was sluggish all the way up to early December,” remarked Hofius Hardware Limited’s Managing Director.

At another retail store, Wellworth, the Manager reported that his sales were down by as much as 10 to 15 percent.
Earlier in the year, the auto industry reported a massive 60% contraction.

People have also been losing their homes and their livelihoods at alarming rates! This only results in loss of existing jobs and a higher crime rate. No doubt that 33% unemployment status has skyrocketed as a result.

Still yet, we need to factor in another area that influences Belize’s decline: major losses in tourism. When was the last time you heard that there has been record tourism arrivals in Belize? You will only hear that there has been a slight increase over the last year, and that increase was possible because the previous year’s figures had declined. The last time this country saw real growth in tourism arrivals was when the Ministry of Tourism was steered by the PUP.

But this government doesn’t want people to look at these very real issues. Barrow prefers instead to further insult us by talking about an insignificant cut in electricity rates. Let’s be real, Mr. Barrow, no one will be better off by $4 or $5 off their light bills. What you should have done if your efforts were genuine was to remove the 12.5% burdensome GST that your government imposed upon poor Belizeans. Your flimsy election gimmicks are paper-thin. You will get the message on Election Day.

Link to Original Article:

From Belize Times

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