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Latest figures show decrease in imports; fall in consumer price index

Last month, Belize imported goods valued at 162 million dollars, 32.8 million dollars less when compared to May in 2014. According to the Statistical Institute of Belize, importation of ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’, ‘Food and Live Animals’ and goods destined to the Commercial Free Zone were among those which decreased. Purchases of goods destined for the Commercial Free Zone declined by almost seven million dollars, from twenty six million dollars to nineteen million dollars. Chemical Products’, on the other hand, grew by two point one million dollars, the result of increased imports of various medical supplies and equipment.  Domestic exports for May 2015 totaled fifty point six million dollars, a twelve point nine million dollars or twenty point three percent decrease compared to last May.  According to the SIB, a decrease of sales of Belize’s major exports such as sugar, crude petroleum and citrus concentrate contributed to the latest figures.  Belize’s only major export to have shown an increase was marine exports which grew by almost three million dollars. As for the consumer price index, statistics show that the month of May showed that the inflation rate stood at negative zero point nine percent, as the Consumer Price Index declined from one hundred and three point six in May of 2014 to one hundred and two point seven in May 2015. According to the SIB, Transport’ remains the single greatest contributor to falling consumer prices, as the average price per gallon of premium gasoline, regular gasoline, and diesel fuel all fell by more than two dollars and fifty cents, or well over twenty percent, in comparison to the same month last year. With an inflation rate of one point eight percent, Dangriga was the only municipality in which an overall increase in consumer prices was recorded during the month of May. The biggest average drop was seen in Belmopan, which had an inflation rate of negative two percent, followed closely by San Ignacio/Santa Elena with negative one point eight percent.