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Consumer Prices on the Rise Since January 2016

Consumer prices has shown an increase in of point one percent for the month of March. The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its latest figures. For the month of March the consumer price index stood at one hundred and two point nine which is up by point one percent from the same period last year. According to the SIB this is a continuation of the trend since January when the first increase in the inflation rate was recorded after a year of decrease. Within the food and nonalcoholic beverages category, food recorded an increase of one point six percent. Increases where seen in the price of fruits, eggs, sugar, beef, veal and pork while red kidney beans continued to reflect a decrease of fourteen point five percent. As it relates to Transport, there was a four point seven percent decrease. This is attributed to a decrease in the price of regular gasoline and diesel. The Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels category increased by point one percent. Corozal and Punta Gorda recorded the highest inflation rate of one point seven percent and one point three percent respectively. Both San Ignacio /Santa Elena and Belize City stood at negative point three percent. When it comes external trade, the figures show for the month of March, Belize imported goods valued at one hundred and sixty three point four million dollars, falling by six point seven percent or eleven point seven million dollars from the same period last year. Mineral Fuels and Lubricants was the primary contributor to the month’s decline in imports, this is a decrease of ten million dollars. This is attributed to the ongoing trend of lower purchasing price for fuel, combined with the fact that o premium fuel was imported. Machinery and transport equipment accounted for a quarter of the total imports at forty million dollars as increased purchases of vehicles and gas turbines drove up that category by five million dollars. Goods meant for the commercial free zones and the food and live animals category each grew by two million dollars. Total domestic exports for March amounted to fifty one point five million dollars, this is down by twelve point seven percent or seven point five million dollars when compared to the same period last year. For the first three months of the year, merchandise exports for the first quarter totaled one hundred and four million dollars down twenty seven point five percent or thirty nine point five million dollars from the same period last year. Sugar is the only major export to have increased over the three month period from growing from twenty seven million dollars to thirty one million dollars.