SIBThe 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 0.6 percent for the month of July 2017 as it stood 104.4, compared to 103.8 in July 2016. (Put CPI fig 1)

For the first seven months of the year 2017, an inflation rate of 1.4 percent was recorded.

Higher prices were recorded in two of the largest categories, namely ‘Transport’, and ‘Housing, Water, Electricity Gas and other Fuels’, which together account for almost half of all household purchases.

The ‘Transport’ category saw prices jumping by 6.3 percent during July 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 0.7, with the most notable increase observed in the price of premium fuel, which rose from nine dollars and fifty one cents in July 2016 to eleven dollars and four cents in July of 2017 and Regular Fuel which rose from nine dollars and fifty six cents to ten dollars and ten cents, while the price per gallon of diesel was up from eight dollars and fifty five cents to eight dollars and ninety four cents.

An overall decline of 0.7 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 0.4 percent for the month of July 2017, when compared to July 2016. A slight decline in home rentals was able to mitigate the effects of a 20.9 percent increase in Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) which had a considerable increase.

Across all municipalities, (Put CPI fig 4) Orange Walk town recorded the most significant decrease in home rentals and saw the lowest rate of inflation rate at negative 1.2 percent. Dangriga on the other hand, which experienced the greatest rise in home rentals had the country’s highest inflation rate of 2.7 percent.

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