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Cost of living in January was over 6 percent higher than last year: Food and Fuel prices up the most

Posted: Sunday, February 26, 2023. 3:30 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Belizeans had to pay 6.6 percent more (an average of $6.60 per every $100 spent) for goods and services in January 2023 when compared to January 2022, according to the latest data released by the Statistical Institute of Belize.

The SIB’s Consumer Price Index data shows that the price summary for 2022 was at 105.4 but the 2023 summary stood at 112.4. The SIB attributed the overall increase to higher prices of food and fuel.

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“The primary driver of this increase was the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ category, which once again accounted for over a half of the national inflation rate, as food prices continued to rise rapidly,” the SIB said. “This was followed by ‘Transport’, which was responsible for almost one-third of the inflation recorded for the month of January, with fuel prices remaining higher than they were in the same month of 2022.”

Looking at individual food items the price of cabbage went up by 70 percent from $1.37 to $2.33, and tomatoes went up from $2.08 to $3.53, an increase of 69.8 percent.

Flour, a mainstay of many Belizean households was up by 36.8 percent from $1.10 to $1.51. Meats saw less drastic increases, with the price per pound of ground beef going up by 14.7 percent from $5.41 to $6.21; turkey going up by 14.3 percent from $5.19 to $5.93, and whole chicken going up by 9.5 percent from $2.91 to $3.18.

With respect to fuel, dіеѕеl recorded an increase of $2.54, wіth thе average рrісе per gаllоn going up from $10.71 іn Јаnuаrу оf lаѕt уеаr tо $13.26 іn Јаnuаrу, 2023; prеmіum gаѕоlіnе went up by $2.17, frоm $12.18 tо $14.35; and rеgulаr gаѕоlіnе went up by $0.46, frоm $11.82 іn Јаnuаrу 2022 tо $12.28 іn Јаnuаrу 2023.

The SIB’s data also showed an 8.8 percent increase in the Recreation, Sport, and Culture category, due mainly to increased entrance fees for cinemas and nightclubs; and a 3.7 increase in the Furnishings, Household Equipment, and Routine Household Maintenance category, due primarily to price increases for household cleaning and maintenance products, as well as for domestic services.

Notably, the Information and Communication category saw a 3.2 percent decline, which the SIB attributed to lower costs for the provision of internet services.

 

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