Services are classified as tertiary industries in Belize according to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB). SIB provides sector performance data and has classified Belize’s services industry according to:
- Wholesale, retail trade and repairs;
- Hotels and restaurants;
- Transport and communication including transport and storage, post and telecommunications;
- Financial Intermediation including banking services, insurance services and offshore banking services;
- Real estate, renting and business services;
- Community, social and personal services, and;
- General Government services.
However, much of the informal services sector is not statistically accounted for.
Belize has a positive trade balance in trade in services, with both the travel and commercial service industries leading in the contribution to the service surplus. However, net income from services declined by 4.5% to $438.9mn, as earnings fell by $18.6mn in 2008 as a result of lower inflows from tourism and professional services.1 Net Services exports led by the tourism industry grew at an annual rate of 15.1 percent during the 2000 to 2006 period.2 However, the decline in port calls in 2008 caused a 16.4% contraction in earnings by shipping agents and other transport services.3 On the other hand, outlays on services rose marginally and reflective in the 22.0% growth in transport costs due to the expansion of international trade which effectively outweighed the decline in expenditure by residents travelling abroad and the non-recurrence of sizable insurance and financial fees associated with debt restructuring exercises in the previous year.4 When assessing performance of the entire services industry on a whole, it has been staggering with declines in GDP activity from 12.6% in 1992 to a mere 2.8% in 2006.5