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Cost of living higher for 11 straight months

Posted: Friday, December 29, 2017. 11:40 am CST.

By BBN Staff: During the months January – November, goods and services cost an average $1.20 cents more than they did for the same period last year, according to the latest data from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed consistent increases in cost of living for the first 11 months, and estimates that when the December figures are tallied and produced in January, 2017 will have been a more expensive year for Belizeans than 2016.

The cumulative data showed that inflation peaked in the months of February and March at 2.3 percent, and was at its lowest in June and August at 0.6 percent.

The CPI for the month of November, showed that  cost of living was up by 0.9 percent, due primarily to increases in the Transport category. Within Transport, the ‘Fuels and Lubricants’  sub category was the major driver, with a 6.3 percent increase, given the high gas prices recorded in 2017.

The price per gallon of Premium gasoline rose 19 percent from $10.11 in November 2016 to $12.02 in November 2017, while Regular gasoline rose 7.2 percent from $9.55 per gallon to $10.23 per gallon, and the price per gallon of Diesel was up 8 percent from $8.90 to $9.61. Increases in the cost of international airfares also helped to raise transport costs.

Prices within the Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels category also went up by 0.9 percent when compared to last November, due to increased home rental prices and the cost of butane.

Belizeans got some reprieve from higher costs, with Food prices showing a marginal, 0.6 percent decrease when compared to 2016. Belizeans paid less on items such as beef steak, pork chops, pigtail and whole chickens, along with other food items such as eggs and milk.

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