Country Report Belize October 1996 Main report

Regional outlook for 1997-98: Growth prospects are modest

Prospects for growth in the Caricom area are mixed. The largest economy, Jamaica, continues to stagnate under the pressure of high interest rates and an overvalued currency, while the second largest country, Trinidad and Tobago, is expected to grow by over 3% this year and 4% in 1997 as a result of buoyant exports and new projects in the petrochemicals sector. The prospects for agriculture (especially bananas) in the region are dim, but the tourism sector is expected to show important growth as new hotels and air services come into operation and the lingering effects of hurricanes Luis and Marilyn in 1995 fade. However, remittances from overseas, traditionally important to the balance of payments, may fall next year as a result of the reduction in social benefits recently decided by the US administration. The EIU maintains its forecast of an overall GDP growth rate of 2-3% for 1997.

© 1996 The Economist lntelligence Unit Ltd. All rights reserved
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