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Cost of living up by 0.5 percent

The inflation rate for the first seven months of 2018 stood at 0.1 percent. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for July, 2018 has been released by the Statistical Institute of Belize earlier today and the inflation for July, 2018 compared to July 2017 is 0.5 percent. This means the average cost of living went up half a percent as compared to July, 2017. Following the statistics by districts, Dangriga had a the lowest inflation rate at negative 2.2 percent and the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena had a negative  0.2 percent decrease. The other districts had an increase. Punta Gorda increased by 0.5 percent, Belmopan by 1 percent; Belize City by 0.8 percent; Corozal by 1 percent and Orange Walk had the highest increase of 1.9 percent.  Jaqueline Sabal, one of the statisticians gave an overview of the areas which had an increase in the cost of living, compared to last year.

Jaqueline Sabal: “The main contributor to the overall rise in consumer prices falls within the transport category which was up 3.9% compared to July of last year. The housing, water, electricity, gas and other fossil fuels category saw marginal increase of 0.03% while the food and non alcoholic beverages category experienced a 0.6% decrease. The food and non alcoholic beverages category had a more significant impact on the CPI during 2018 than in previous years. The 0.6 decrease in the food and non alcoholic beverages category was mainly due to decreases in food prices alone. When compared to July 2017 there was. 0.4% decrees in food prices. There were noticeable decreases observed in the average price of certain meat and fruits and vegetables. Namely the price per pound for ground beef decreased by 1.5%. The price per pound for Pork chops decreased 3%. Pig tail fell 3.1%. Beef Steak fell to 2% and Sweet pepper fell 2.2%. However these decreases were mostly offset by increase prices in various other food prices namely a liter of natural milk increase 6.9%. Red Kidney beans the price per pound increase by 11.7%, Pineapple went up 22.4%, Potatoes 12.1% and Cabbage 7.2%. The housing, water, electricity gas and other fuels cater saw a 0.03% increase; very marginal. This was due to home rental cost which was down 0.4% however LPG prices went up 15% and were able to offset that decrease in home rental prices. Looking at the average fuel prices at the pump in July 2017 gasoline stood at $11.4 for premium while in July 2018 it stood at $11.77, for regular its to that $10.10 while in July 2018 to that $11.14. For Diesel in July 2017 its $ 8.94 while in July 2018 it was at $10.81 a gallon.”

Insurance premiums increased 4 percent and it was mainly due to an 11.4 percent rise in transport insurance. So the category with the highest increase was the transport category while food and nonalcoholic beverages had a negative 0.6 percent inflation rate.