Western Hemisphere > Belize

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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The 2024 Article IV Consultation with Belize highlights that real gross domestic product growth and inflation moderated in 2023. Belize’s key policy priorities include raising the primary balance with revenue mobilization and expenditure rationalization to lower public debt to a level that provides sufficient buffers, increasing expenditure in priority areas, adopting growth enhancing structural reforms, and building resilience to climate change and related disasters. These policies would boost growth and make it more inclusive. Boosting medium-term growth requires increasing female labor force participation, enhancing access to affordable credit for small and medium size enterprises, reducing crime, improving the business climate, and adopting a disaster resilience strategy that strengthens structural, financial, and post-disaster resilience and is based on a multi-year macro-fiscal framework. Keeping vulnerable financial institutions under enhanced supervision and requesting recapitalization when needed is important to maintain financial stability. Strengthening the currency peg requires increasing international reserves by reducing public debt, implementing structural reforms and limiting government financing by the Central Bank.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issue paper documents the recent episode of food inflation and food insecurity in Belize. The paper also overviews what policies were announced in Belize and the Caribbean during the recent cost-of-living crisis; and discusses the policies Belize could implement to protect its most vulnerable households from the threat of food insecurity going forward. It discusses the appropriate policies to protect vulnerable households from food price inflation going forward based on economic theory and best practices and estimates how much it would cost the government of Belize to protect the vulnerable population against a rise in food prices like the one in 2022. The authorities should evaluate the impact of the recent policy that regulates mark-ups on essential goods by wholesale and retail operators when they have sufficient data. The limits on the mark-up for 32 essential goods were introduced to limit the increase in food prices and avoid monopolistic practices.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This technical assistance report on Belize focuses on transition to accrual accounting. Belize is planning to transition to accrual accounting over the medium term. This reform is considered an advanced practice on the public financial management (PFM) spectrum and has been attempted by few regional comparators. The transition to accruals is a complex, resource-intensive and advanced reform that requires various preconditions to be met. The current organization and responsibilities of Treasury staff do not support the transition to accruals. Accounting reforms will take time to implement and require change management processes if they are to succeed. The Treasury does not currently have a change management culture to manage reforms and track performance. A new unit should be created to oversee change management, strategic planning, performance management, risk management as well as monitoring and evaluation. A PFM coordinating committee, chaired by the Financial Secretary, should be established to strengthen planning and internal collaboration.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2023 Article IV Consultation discusses that economic activity has rebounded strongly from the pandemic in Belize. After growing by 15 percent in 2021 and 12 percent in 2022, real GDP is projected to grow by 2.4 percent in 2023 and 2.0 percent over the medium term as spare capacity is exhausted. The key policy priorities include reducing public debt to a level that provides sufficient buffers, increasing expenditure in priority areas, implementing growth enhancing structural reforms, and building resilience to climate change. These policies would boost growth and make it more inclusive. Boosting potential growth requires enhancing access to domestic credit, ensuring predictable access to foreign exchange to attract foreign direct investment, reducing crime, and adopting a disaster resilience strategy that strengthens structural, financial, and post-disaster resilience and is based on a multi-year macro-fiscal framework. Strengthening the sustainability of the currency peg requires implementing additional fiscal consolidation and growth-enhancing structural reforms, as well as limiting government financing by the Central Bank.