The latest figures released from the Statistical Institute of Belize, SIB, showed that during the month of May the cost of regularly purchased commodities including rice, beans, poultry, water and electricity by Belizean households remain relatively the same when compared to May 2018. As a result, the all-time Consumer Price Index recorded the same figure of 104.7 for both months. However, there were some categories recording increases of less than one percent including transport which recorded a minus-one percent; housing, water and electricity recording a minus-point-seven percent. Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician Grade Two of the Statistical Institute of Belize said that for the first half of the year, consumer goods were stable, experiencing only a marginal decline.
Jacqueline Sabal – Statistician II: “This 0.01% does not indicate that there was no change during the period but rather that the increases and decreases within the various categories were somewhat able to cancel each other out or offset one another which we will see throughout the presentation. The trend line indicates a constant rise in the CPI from May 2016 right up until around August 2018 when prices began to steadily decrease bringing us to the 104.7 index in May 2019. Looking at the major categories affecting the CPI we notice that housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels category decreased by 0.7%. Food and nonalcoholic beverages increased by 0.5%, transport decreased by 1% and for the purpose of this presentation, we grouped the remaining categories of groups and services into all other categories of goods and services which increased by 0.6%. Prices within the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels category saw a decrease of 0.7%. Within this category home rental cost decreased to 1.2% while liquefied petroleum gas increased 0.4% and the electricity tariff also rose 11.9% as the new rates applied earlier this year continue to take effect. Food and nonalcoholic beverages category increased by 0.5% when compared to May 2018. The nonalcoholic beverages subcategory increased by 1.2% as we observed an increase in the price of soft drinks and concentrates.”
Dangriga Town recorded a 5.4% decrease in prices, significant decreases were seen in home rental costs and outpatient medical services.