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Consumer Prices up 0.9% in October 2017

For the month of October, consumer prices went up by point nine percent due to a rise in transportation.  The Statistical Institute of Belize’s latest figures show that for the first nine months of 2017, an inflation rate of one point two percent was recorded. This morning the Statistical Institute of Belize revealed the latest figures. We hear more from Jacqueline Sabal of the Statistical Institute of Belize.

Jacqueline Sabal – Statistician

“Inflation rate for the month of October 2017 stood at 0.9% meaning that on average prices were 9% percent higher than they were in October 2016. If we look at the major categories affecting the inflation rate we must consider the food and non- alcoholic beverages category which decreased by 0.8%, the housing, water, electricity gas and other fuels category which recorded a 0.9% increase as well as transport which increase by 7.8%. Bear in mind these three categories hold some of the largest weights in the basket of goods and services combining approximately 60% of household spending. Meaning that even slight movement in any of these three categories can greatly impact overall CPI. For the purpose of this presentation, the remaining goods and services have been grouped in “all other” categories of goods and services which recorded is 0.5% decrease.”

Sabal went on to explain the food and non-alcohol category.

Jacqueline Sabal – Statistician

“The alcoholic beverages category, when compared to October 2016 the 0.8% decrease in the food and non-alcoholic beverages category, was solely due to a decline in food prices. Certain meat prices fell as well as the cost of eggs, milk and some fruits and vegetables. Price per pound for ground beef fell 9.7% from $6.27 to $5.66. Beefsteak fell 6.3% from $8.14 to $7.63. The cost of a dozen eggs fell 4.7% from $3.32 to $3.16. The cost of a liter of milk fell 12.5% from $2.69 to $2.36. The price for pound for lettuce also fell 17.2% from $2.78 to $2.30 along with tomatoes that fell 15.9% from $2.78 to $2.34.”

Meanwhile, the housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuel recorded a point nine percent increase, due to a point four percent increase in home rental prices.

Jacqueline Sabal – Statistician

“In the housing, water, gas and other fuels category, there was an overall 0.9% increase. This was mainly due to 0.4% increase in home rental prices and a 14.9% in liquefied petroleum gas.”

For the month of October, Dangriga saw the highest increase in consumer prices at two point four percent, which was due to a higher than normal rise in home rentals. Meanwhile, Orange Walk saw the lowest rate of inflation for the month at minus point three percent.