By Benjamin Flowers: The cost of living was up by over 3 percent for the period January-November 2021, when compared to the same 11-month period in 2020, according to the most recent data released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).
The SIB’s consumer price index showed the All Items category was up 3.1 percent, which means that Belizeans, on average, paid around $3.10 cents more for goods and services than they did the year before.
“This increase in consumer prices over the year-to-date was driven mostly by higher costs for food, fuel, and LPG. The ‘Transport’ category was up by 8.8 percent, reflecting higher prices for all types of motor vehicle fuels and an increase in the cost of new motor vehicles,” the SIB explained.
The ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ category was up by 4.9 percent, which the SIB attributed to higher prices for meats, cereal products, seafood, cooking oils, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Pigtails recorded the largest price increase in this category, going up from $4.29 a pound last November to $6.20 a pound this year, an increase of 44.5 percent.
‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ were up by a cumulative 1.6 percent, due to the rising cost of butane, which was up by 45.6 percent in November.
The ‘Personal Care, Social Protection and Miscellaneous Goods and Services’ category also reported a 1.5 percent increase, due largely to higher prices for personal hygiene items.
“On the other hand, the cost of ‘Restaurants and Accommodation Services’ were down by 4.2 percent, driven primarily by lower hotel accommodation rates, while the ‘Information and Communication’ category declined by 3.2 percent, due to reduced prices for tablets, external storage devices, and television sets,” the SIB added.