noimageThe Statistical Institute of Belize today published its latest statistics on prices and external trade for the country of Belize. First we take a look at the consumer price index for which the report shows that prices increased, on average by 2.3 percent for the month of February 2017 as it stood 105.1, compared to 102.7 in February 2016. (Put CPI fig 1)

For the first two months of the year 2017, an inflation rate of 2.3 percent was recorded.

Higher prices were recorded across the three largest categories, namely ‘Transport’, ‘Food and Non-alcoholic Beverages’ and ‘Housing, Water, Electricity Gas and other Fuels’, which together account for almost two thirds of all household purchases.

The ‘Transport’ category saw prices jumping by almost 20 percent during February 2017 (Put CPI fig 2) and was the major contributing factor to the overall rise in consumer prices for the month. ‘Fuel’ prices for the month were also up by more than 16 percent, with the most notable increase observed in the price of diesel fuel, which jumped by 43 percent from $6.36 in February 2016 to $9.11 in February 2017.

An overall decline of 2.1 percent in the prices of ‘Food and Non- Alcoholic Beverages’ was able to offset some of the effects of rising transport costs during the period. (Put CPI fig 3).

The ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ category recorded an overall increase of 0.9 percent for the month of February 2017, when compared to February 2016. Within this category, the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) was up considerably, with the cost of a 100-pound cylinder of LPG rising 12 percent from $82.60 in February 2016 to $92.35 in February 2017.

Across all municipalities, (Put CPI fig 4) Belmopan recorded the highest inflation rate of 3.5 percent for the month of February 2017, with Dangriga not far behind at 3.3 percent.

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