Posted: Friday, May 27, 2022. 7:03 am CST.
By Hugh O’Brien: Inflation is on the rise and this simply means that the price of goods and services that are usually purchased by Belizean households cost 5.8% more on average in April 2022 when compared to April 2021.
While the overall inflation rate of 5.8% from year to year is considered high, the prices of some key goods and services are significantly higher and are clearly driving more people below the poverty line as consumers feel the pinch of rising prices against stagnating salaries.
The steepest price increase was recorded in the transportation sector as the price of each category of vehicle fuel increased by more than 25%, resulting in a 16.8% increase in the price of transportation services from April 2021 to April this year.
Food items were the second group that had significant increases in prices, rising by a 7.1% when most of the commonly consumed goods are taken into consideration. In the case of tomatoes, prices more than doubled from $1.24 to $2.78/lb, cabbage went up by 72.6%, and other vegetables also had moderate to significant increases.
The price of rice which is one of Belize’s staples went up by 10.7% from $1.37 to $1.52 per pound while the price of vegetable oil rose steeply by 36.8% to $4.82 per liter. And while switching to coconut oil is a healthy alternative, the price of even that went up, rising from an average of $12.57 per liter last year to $14.92 this year.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) (butane) saw the greatest increase in the housing, utilities, gas, and other sectors, rising by 29% or $33.93 per 100 lb cylinder in one year. A 100 lb cylinder of LPG (butane) sold for $115.66 in April 2021 while in April 2022 the price stood at almost $150.
Restaurant and accommodation services saw an overall increase of 5.1% while home furnishings, household equipment, and household maintenance rose by 7.2%.
Clothing and footwear rose by a modest 1.9% while information and communication technology actually recorded a 1% fall in prices.
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