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Cost of living down in March, says SIB

Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2018. 10:00 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff:Despite rising taxes, fuel prices, and soaring gas prices since the start of 2018, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) reported that the cost of living for the first quarter of 2018 was actually down by a marginal 0.1 percent.

The SIB’s latest Consumer Price Index said that the price of goods and services were an average of 10 cents cheaper than they were in the first quarter of 2017. For the month of March, the SIB said that Transport costs were down due to a reduction in the cost of international airfares, notwithstanding the increase in gas prices.

The institute sad that Regular fuel was up by 6 percent, Premium was up by 7.6 percent and Diesel was up by 9.6 percent when compared to last year. Notably, the price per gallon of all three types of fuel has gone up twice since the data was compiled.

Prices within the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ category, went down by a minor 0.4 percent, due mainly to a 0.5 percent decrease in the price of food. The data showed lower prices for mean products such as ground beef, pork chops and pigtail, saw lower prices when compared to the same month in 2017, as did other food items such as onions, sweet peppers and milk.

Belizeans also had to contend with higher home rental prices, which increased by 0.2 percent and higher prices for butane which went up by 10 percent, raising the average cost of a 100-pound cylinder from $96.13 in March 2017 to $105.51.

By municipality, Punta Gorda Town was the only municipality to report an increase in consumer prices during the month, with an inflation rate of 0.6 percent. San Ignacio/Santa Elena saw the highest reduction in consumer prices, 1.9 percent, followed by Belmopan with a decrease of 1.2 percent.

 

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