The Statistical Institute of Belize also reported on the consumer price index and the news remains the same for the public. Prices have gone up, but according to the report, it is not by much.
In its report, the SIB shows that it researched 260 products in all the municipalities except for Benque and San Pedro, and found that on average, Belizeans are paying just over a cent more for basic goods, or 1.5% more for food staples like ground beef, red kidney beans, eggs, milk and vegetables. The prices are less in regards to alcohol and cigarettes, clothing and footwear, house furnishings, recreation, but remain more or less the same for housing and utilities, communication and transport. Gas and fuel has stabilized somewhat and butane is actually down on average from year to year. The report adds that in other sectors the price index has gone down. The national inflation is at 0.5%. The highest average inflation is registered in Belmopan at 1.4%.
And finally, as it pertains to external trade, the SIB shows that Belize is importing more than it is exporting. In 2013 Belize registered over $1.86 billion in goods, an increase of 8% from 2012. These were imported from the U.S., E.U., Caricom and Mexico, in that order. In further detail, Belize is buying more machinery and transport equipment which stand at $51 million, and manufactured goods at $55 million. Total exports in 2013 valued $627.6 million, a decrease of 7.5% from 2012. These were made to the same export partners and also include the People’s Republic of China. Fewer sales were recorded specifically in petroleum and citrus and bananas to a total loss of over $90 million, which has caused the EU to bump the U.S. as Belize’s No. 1 export partner. The figure on sugar has remained stagnant at $107 million despite more cane on the ground, and fishing/shrimp production and animal feed are picking up, but not enough to fill the gap. According to the report, this is the widest gap between exports and imports have ever been. For more information you can visit the SIB’s website at www.statisticsbelize.org.bz.
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