Saturday, September 27, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: The monthly report of the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) was released earlier this week.
Inflation countrywide is down from 1.3% in July to 0.9% in August, helped along by reduced food prices in all categories except for Fish and Seafood.
There were higher home rental rates, international airfares, and insurance premiums. Home rental prices rose 2 percent from twelve months ago; international airfares are up 3 percent in comparison to last August.
Health and motor vehicle insurance rates were up 3 and 6 percent, respectively.
San Ignacio/Santa Elena continues to record the highest inflation rate of the seven municipalities at 1.7 percent, while the lowest was recorded in Corozal Town at only 0.4 percent.
Turning to imports and exports, domestic export earnings for August 2014 were valued at $74.4 million, rising by more than $20 million or 38.8 percent in comparison to the same month last year.
Sugar exports for the month more than tripled to $34 million and accounted for almost a half of total earnings for August.
Marine exports, boosted by shrimp and lobster sales, rose by $1.4 million to $10.6 million, while earnings from bananas rose by just under $1 million to $7.4 million.
Petroleum exports, continuing the downward trend of recent years, fell by $2.5 million to $12.2 million during the month. Belize imported goods valued at a total of $158.5 million, increasing by over $11 million or 7.6 percent from $147.3 in August of 2013.
This increase was almost entirely as a result of imports of ‘Food and Live Animals’ and ‘Chemical Products’, which rose by $5.9 million and $5.5 million, respectively.
Purchases of wheat seeds, milk and cream, and animal feed were responsible for the growth recorded in the category of ‘Food and Live Animals’.
Higher imports of ‘Chemical Products’ were due mostly to purchases of fertilizers.
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