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Cost of living in February 2020 rises

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Posted: Thursday, March 26, 2020. 3:14 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: Belizeans paid an average of 40 cents more for goods and services in February 2020 when compared to the same month in 2019, according to the latest data released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).

“Higher home rental costs, fuel prices, international airfares, and tertiary education fees were slightly offset by lower prices for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and various food items. This resulted in the small overall increase in consumer prices observed for the month,” the SIB said.

The ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ category was up by 0.8 percent, due largely to a 1.2 percent rise in the average price of home rentals. Higher home rental prices were observed in Orange Walk Town, Belize City, San Ignacio/ Santa Elena Town, Dangriga Town and Punta Gorda Town. Meanwhile, there was a significant decrease of 14 percent in LPG prices, as the average cost of a 100-pound cylinder went down from $114.87 in February 2019 to $98.73 in February 2020. The SIB said that the LPG decrease helped to offset the home rental price increases.

There was a 2 percent increase in the ‘Transport’ category, which was cited as the main category exerting upward pressure on the overall level of consumer prices for the month of February 2020. The increase came from a notable rise in the price of international airfares, which were 11.1 percent higher than they were in February 2019.

“The ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ category saw a marginal overall decrease of 0.1 percent for the month of February 2020, when compared to the same month in 2019. This downward change was due to lower prices for breakfast cereals, as well as some fresh produce such as watermelons, pineapples, limes, and cabbages,” the SIB added.

The SIB also noted that the effect of the lower price was “partially balanced out” by increases in the prices of other food items, including ground beef, beef steak, whole chickens, sweet peppers and rice.

 

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