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Data Shows an Upward Trend in Consumer Prices

Consumer prices saw an increase of point nine percent in June as compared to the same period last year. According to the latest figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize, the all items consumer price index for June of this year was one hundred and three point seven compared to one hundred and two point eight last year. Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels saw an overall increase of one point six percent, this is attributed to an increase in home rental prices. Electricity rates were down by sixteen percent while there was also a decrease in the price of Liquefied petroleum gas. Prices remained unchanged for food and non-alcoholic beverages. Higher prices were recorded for fruits, beef, pork and sugar while decreases were recorded in the prices of egg, chicken and fresh vegetables. All municipalities recorded an increase in consumer prices with the exception of Dangriga. Corozal Town, Punta Gorda and Orange Walk Town recorded the highest inflation rates. As it relates to the external trade, imported goods were valued at almost one hundred and sixty eight million dollars, this is down by eleven point two percent or twenty one point two million dollars from the same period last year.  Machinery and transport equipment was a major factor in the decline. Major reductions were recorded in goods destined for the export processing zones and commercial free zones declined by eleven million dollars. The food and live animals category saw a decrease of four point five million dollars. Mineral, fuels and lubricants saw its first monthly increase for the year rising by six million dollars. Merchandise imports for the first half of the year totaled nine hundred and seventy four point nine million dollars which represents a two point four percent decrease. The total value of Belize’s domestic exports for the month of June was thirty six point eight million dollars, down thirty point two percent compared to last year. Sugar earnings fell by twenty four million dollars; sale of marine products fell by more than one half from six point five million dollars to under three million dollars, banana exports fell by one third. There was an increase in citrus industry, the total went from under three million dollars, to twelve million dollars. Merchandise exports for the first six months of this year totaled two hundred and thirty one point eight million dollars down by almost one fourth from the same period last year.