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Inflation ticks up slightly; higher food and fuel prices to blame

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Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2019. 8:39 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Belizeans are paying slightly more for basic goods and services compared to last year through the first quarter of 2019, according to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).

The Institute measured inflation, known as the Consumer Price Index (CPI), at 0.3 percent for March and 0.1 percent in the first quarter.

Havoc with fuel prices caused an uptick of 0.9 percent, lower premium and regular fuel prices offset by increases for diesel and motor vehicle lubricants. Prices for servicing of vehicles and airfares are also up.

 Home rental costs are down, especially in Belmopan, Belize City, and Dangriga; but increases in electricity and gas prices offset this.

In the area of food, Belizeans are paying less for red kidney beans, ground beef, and chicken and limes, which were scarce at this time last year. But higher prices were recorded for sugar, eggs, some natural meats, milk, and vegetables.

Belizeans are also paying more for attending sporting events and secondary school, as well as health and life insurance premiums.

Among the municipalities, it’s a lot easier these days to live in Dangriga as the Culture Capital recorded a negative inflation rate of near six percent, but about a hundred miles south, prices in Punta Gorda rose more than three percent.

 The SIB tracks monthly statistics on consumer prices and inflation and twice a year on the employment rate.

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