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Gas prices soar in 2017

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This year Belizeans have seen gas prices soar. In February 2017, the prices at the pump were nine dollars and sixty-eight cents per gallon of regular gasoline, premium gasoline was ten dollars and thirty-five cents and diesel was nine dollars and three cents. By the middle of the year, in August, regular gasoline rose by fifty-three cents going to ten dollars and twenty-one cents, premium rose by fourteen cents increasing to ten dollars and forty-nine cents, while diesel fell by .twenty one cents going to eight dollars and eighty-two cents. At times, gas prices would fluctuate two to three times for the month.  At the end of September, the constant rise in gas prices caught the attention of the Belize Chamber of Commerce, which called on the Government of Belize to adopt a policy that minimizes the negative impact that the soaring gas prices were having on consumers as well as businesses and by extension stunting economic growth.  On October 5, the Belize Leaders for Social Justice held a demonstration in Belize City to protest the high cost of fuel. Moses Sulph, Co-Chair of the Belize Leaders for Social Justice, was hoping to see the prices reduce to eight dollars a gallon.  While that did not happen, Prime Minister Dean Barrow promised to reduce the gas prices by mid-October. Barrow claimed that the higher gas prices were a result of sanctions placed on several businesspersons in Venezuela by the US Government as it relates to overseas financial transactions. By October 25, there was a slight reduction only in regular by sixteen cents bringing the new prices to ten dollars and thirteen cents while premium remained the same at eleven dollars and ninety-two cents and diesel remained at nine dollars and sixty-three cents.  It is noteworthy to mention, that for the month of November, the Statistical Institute of Belize showed that transport recorded the largest inflation rate of six point three percent.  In November 2017, the cost for a gallon of premium gas was twelve dollars and two cents and the cost for a gallon of regular gas was ten dollars and twenty-three cents and the cost for a gallon of diesel was nine dollars and sixty-one cents. As of today, December 29, the prices of fuel are: regular gasoline is at ten dollars and forty cents, premium gasoline is eleven dollars and seven cents and diesel is nine dollars and fifty cents.

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