Posted: Wednesday, March 29, 2023. 9:34 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: Belizeans have been taking to social media in droves to lament the rising cost of goods and services since the start of 2023, and now the Statistical Institute of Belize has produced data showing just how much consumer prices went up for the first two months of the year.
The SIB’s latest Consumer Price Index shows that for January and February 2023, Belizeans paid an average of 6.5 percent more for goods and services when compared to the same two-month period in 2022.
Food prices were the primary reason for such high inflation, with the Prices for ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ category of the CPI measuring a 14.9 increase over last year. The SIB attributed the increase in this category to “higher prices for cereal products, dairy products, meats, vegetables, cooking oils, and fresh fruits.”
The ‘Transport’ category saw a year-to-date inflation rate of 8 percent, due to higher prices for diesel fuel, premium gasoline, and passenger transport services. ‘Restaurants and Accommodation Services’ recorded a cumulative inflation rate of 9.1 percent, due to higher prices for restaurant services, which may be linked to higher prices for food items and meats.
“Among the remaining categories, notable price increases were seen in items such as pet food, household cleaning and maintenance products, and personal hygiene products,” the SIB added.
For the month of February specifically, inflation was also up by 6.5 percent with the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ and ‘Transport’ categories leading the way in terms of price increases.
The SIB noted that ‘Transport’ was responsible for about one-sixth of the country’s inflation in February.
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