Posted: Monday, July 4, 2022. 11:08 am CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: Anyone shopping anywhere in Belize knows that the prices of goods and services are notably higher than they used to be, but the recently released data from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) has given a clearer picture of just how high inflation has gone.
The SIB’s latest Consumer Price Index shows that inflation for the first five months of 2022 was up by 5.3 percent, meaning Belizeans spent an average of $5.30 more per every $100 of goods purchased when compared to the same five-month period last year. Notably, this is the highest inflation has been since 2008, when it stood at 6.4 percent.
Melvin Perez, Statistician with the SIB explained that there were various factors that influenced the overall increase in the price of goods and services, with transportation and food costs leading the way.
“First, we had the transport category with prices increasing by 17.3 percent followed by the food and non-alcoholic beverages category with prices increasing by 5.4 percent,” Perez said.
Perez went on to explain that the prices in the housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels category went up by 2.7% followed by the restaurant and accommodation services category with prices increasing by 5% and lastly we had the furnishing household equipment and routine household maintenance with prices increasing by 2.9%.
In the grocery stores, consumers saw increased prices of items such as meat, cereal products, cooking oils, seafood items, and fresh vegetables and fruits.
The SIB’s regional inflation outlook showed that, despite the high inflation rate being experienced during the survey period, for the month of May 2022, Belize still had the second-lowest inflation in the region, bested only by Guatemala, which had inflation at a rate of 4.1 percent. Honduras and Mexico both recorded inflation rates of 7.4 percent. Looking outside the region, the SIB’s data showed that inflation in the United States when compared to May 2021, stood at 8.2 percent.
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