Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2021. 3:01 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The inflation rate in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 1 percent overall in January 2021 compared to 2020, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) says.
This is the highest the CPI has been in January since 2016, with prices rising by nearly three percent in this month in five years.
For the year 2020, the CPI only rose 0.1 percent, as increases in food and home costs, 1.7 percent were outstripped by decreases in transport and restaurant and accommodation services, the latter by nearly 7 percent.
Belizeans are paying more for food (6.5 percent), particularly fresh vegetables and fruits – tomatoes, rice, cucumber, sweet pepper and so on, while meats like ground beef and steak saw decreases.
Home rental prices rose 1.6 percent in January, especially in major municipalities like Belize City and Belmopan. Prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) also rose 7.4 percent
Of the five major categories combined to produce the CPI, the only ones that saw decreases were transport and restaurant and accommodation services.
Personal care, social protection, and miscellaneous services rose 2.2 percent, particularly for costs of personal hygiene and, sadly, funeral services.
Fuel and lubricants actually cost 14 percent less in January compared to last year, but have been on a generally upward trajectory since 2016, though 2020 saw a reduction due to less travel worldwide and consequently lower prices.
Prices were lowered 24 percent for hotel accommodations and a more modest 0.4 percent for restaurants.
Punta Gorda and San Pedro Town (2.3 percent) and San Ignacio and Santa Elena (1.6 percent) are the dearest places to live; it’s cheaper in the North and Belize City.
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