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Goods and Services Go Up with Dangriga Recording Highest Rate of Inflation

The cost of goods and services increased marginally, by an average of point four percent, during last month. This is according to the Statistical Institute of Belize, SIB, which further informed that its latest figures show that All-Items Consumer Price Index stood at 103.2, up from 102.7 when compared to January 2015.  The price within the transport category dropped by three point three percent despite an increase in fuel prices. In January, the price of food items saw an overall increase of one point eight percent. This was seen in the prices of all types of meat, as well in fruits, sugar and vegetables. Once again, Dangriga recorded the highest inflation rate. Belmopan, on the other hand, saw the greatest decline in consumer prices, with an inflation rate of negative one point three percent. Last month Belize imported one hundred and thirty one million dollars worth of goods, a seven point five percent of ten million dollars decrease when compared to January 2015. According to the SIB the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’ were among the categories recording the largest declines in imports. Purchases for the Commercial Free Zones diminished by almost eleven million dollars, from twenty eight million dollars to seventeen million dollars, mainly due to an eight million dollar reduction in the importation of cigarettes. On the other hand, imports for the categories of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ and ‘Food and Live Animals’ saw the greatest growth for the first month of the year. Like Imports, Belize’s exports reduced drastically for the month of January. Last month Belize exported twenty two million dollars worth of goods, a significant decrease of twenty nine point five percent or nine million dollars when compared to January 2015. Marine products, which recorded the best performance among the major exports in January 2015, fell steeply in January 2016 from twelve million dollars to two point five million dollars, owing to a ten million dollars fall in shrimp earnings. In contrast, sales for both crude petroleum and sugar grew for the month of January.