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Consumer prices were up slightly at the start of 2020

Posted: Wednesday, February 26, 2020. 8:30 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Belizeans paid an average of 20 cents more for goods and services in January 2020, when compared to January 2019, according to the latest data released from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).

The SIB’s latest Consumer Price Index showed an increase of 0.2 percent overall, with the Transport sector leading the way in terms of price increases.

“Lower prices for food items, home rentals and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) were slightly overshadowed by steep increases in international airfares and tertiary education fees, resulting in the small overall increase in consumer prices seen during the first month of the year,” the SIB said.

There were decreases in the prices of some food items and increases in others, resulting in a total of 0.3 percent decline in the “Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverage” category.

The “Transport” category saw an increase of 3.7 percent as international airfare went up by 20.3 percent in comparison to January 2019. Costs associated with the maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment rose by 7.5 percent and price increases of Regular and Premium gasoline caused a 3.3 percent increase in the ‘Fuel and Lubricants’ category. Meanwhile, prices for goods and services within the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ category saw an overall 1.2 percent decrease in comparison to January 2019.

“Together, the remaining categories of goods and services combined recorded a slight 0.5 percent rise in consumer prices for the month of January 2020 (see Figure 2). The ‘Education’ category was the principal contributor with a 5 percent increase, as higher fees were recorded for tertiary education in comparison to the same month last year,” the SIB added.

Looking at inflation by municipality, Orange Walk Town reported the highest increase in consumer prices for January 2020, with an inflation rate of 2.6 percent. Despite which recording greater than average reductions in prices for various food items, entrance fees to sporting activities and women’s clothing, Punta Gorda Town, reported actually saw consumer prices lower by 2.1 percent.


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