Commodities See Price Spike in 2016

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Updated: September 29, 2016

Prices of goods and services increased by point four percent in August 2016 when compared to August 2015. This is according to the Statistical Institute of Belize, SIB. For the first eight months of 2016, an inflation rate of point five percent was recorded. All municipalities recorded increases in consumer prices during the month of August 2016, except for Dangriga and Punta Gorda Town, which saw consumer prices falling by one point one percent and point four percent, respectively. Corozal Town recorded the highest inflation rate at one point nine percent, caused primarily by higher home rental costs. According to the SIB, Belize’s Imports are up by five percent and exports by sixty seven percent. For imports, in the month of August this year, Belize imported goods valued at almost one hundred and sixty three million dollars, rising by five point three percent or eight point two million dollars from the one hundred and fifty four point eight million dollars imported in August of 2015.  Increased purchases of telecommunications equipment, motor boats and aircraft engines led to a nine million dollars growth in imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, while the seven million dollars rise observed in goods destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ was largely the result of an increase in the importation of school bags, purses and various clothing items.  Belize’s domestic exports for August 2016 totaled fifty nine point three million dollars, up sixty six point nine percent or twenty three point eight million dollars from the thirty five point six million dollars exported in August 2015. As expected, a bulk shipment of sugar was the principal cause of this significant rise in exports, with sugar sales for the month jumping from one million dollars in August 2015 to thirty four million dollars in August 2016. For the second consecutive month, sugar production from western Belize contributed a sizeable amount to exports for the month, with sales from this region totaling five point six million dollars.  Since the start of 2016, Belize has imported one point three billion dollars worth of goods, representing a two point four percent or thirty two million dollars decrease from the corresponding eight-month period in 2015.  Merchandise exports for the first eight months of 2016 totaled three hundred and twenty one point two million dollars, an eighty three million dollars or a twenty percent drop from the same period last year.