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Statistical Institute of Belize: Cost of living falls in Feb as transport and food prices decline

Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018. 6:42 p.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: During the month of February, Belizeans paid less for goods and services for the first time in over two years.

The latest Consumer Price Index issued by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB), showed that goods and services were an average of 50 cents cheaper than they were in February 2017. The SIB noted that consumer prices had not seen a decrease since December 2015.

The ‘transport’ category, saw a 4.7 percent reduction because a sharp decline in the price of international air fare offset the ever-increasing cost of all three types of fuel, which saw another price increase on Tuesday. The food and non-alcoholic beverages category saw a minimal 0.4 percent reduction in prices, due largely to a fall in food prices which declined by 0.5 percent due to lower costs for items such as ground beef, beef steak, whole chicken and pigtail, along with a few vegetable and milk products.

Despite the overall increase, prices in the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels rose by 0.5 percent for the month, due primarily to a 0.2 percent increase in home rental costs, coupled with a 12.1 percent rise in the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) .

“The average cost of a 100-pound cylinder of LPG rose from $92.35 in February 2017 to $103.53 in February of 2018,” the SIB said.

All municipalities saw decreases in consumer prices with the exception of Punta Gorda, which had an average price increase of 60 cents. San Ignacio and Santa Elena saw the greatest average drop in prices, $1.60, followed by Belmopan and Corozal with $1.10 and 90 cents respectively.

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