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“Cost of living was up slightly in March,” says Statistical Institute

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Posted: Wednesday, April 29, 2020. 7:36 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The cost of living in Belize was up slightly for the month of March, according to the latest figures released from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).

The SIB’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed that the average cost for goods and services were up by 0.2 percent, despite lower costs for fuel, butane, and food.

“It should be noted that price collection for the CPI survey is done at the start of the second week of each month. As a result, price distortions to goods and services contained within the CPI basket that may have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic may not be evident until subsequent months,” the SIB said.

The ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ category went down by a marginal 0.4 percent due to a balancing of lower prices for items such as breakfast cereals, pork chops, pigtails, as well as some fresh vegetables and fruits such as red kidney beans, pineapples, watermelons, limes, sweet peppers, and onions; against higher prices for items such as ground beef, whole chickens, eggs and tomatoes.

The ‘Transport’ category was up slightly by 0.2 percent due largely to an increase in international airfares as well as higher costs for repairing and purchasing of vehicles.

The  ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ was up by 0.8 percent and was the category experiencing the most significant increase in prices for the month of March 2020. Average home rental costs were 1.2 percent higher in Orange Walk Town, Belize City, San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town, Dangriga Town and Punta Gorda Town.

By municipality, Orange walk saw the highest rate of inflation, with average costs going up by 2.3 percent, while Punta Gorda saw a reduction in average prices by 2.1 percent.

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