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Inflation Rate of 1.2% recorded for first nine months of 2017

The overall prices of goods and services for September are up while imports are down and domestic exports are up, according to a report by the Statistical Institute of Belize. Prices of regularly purchased goods and services have increased point seven percent when compared to last year for September. The SIB reports that for the first nine months of 2017, a year-to-date inflation rate of 1.2 percent was recorded. Food and non-alcoholic beverages saw an overall one point one percent price decrease due largely to reduced “food” prices. Dangriga continued to experience the highest rate of increase in consumer prices, recording a 2.3 percent inflation rate. Orange Walk Town, where average rent prices were down compared to last September, recorded the lowest inflation rate at negative point eight percent.  Meanwhile, for September this year, (VO 2 STARTS) imports declined by seven point two percent or $11.3 million. In the same month in 2016 imports stood at $155.8 million. Notable increases were observed only in goods destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ because people were purchasing more footwear, clothing, and perfumes. Turning to exports for September this year, the SIB recorded Belize’s domestic exports were at $48.5 million, more than twice that recorded for September 2016, which amounted to $21.4 million.  This is due largely to a shipment in bulk sugar which was not exported in the same month last year. Favourable banana sales were also recorded but both citrus and marine exports fell noticeably in September 2017. Merchandise exports for the period January to September 2017 totaled $375.9 million, up 9.7 percent or $33.3 million from the $342.6 million recorded for the same period last year. Again, Sugar was the main contributor to the overall growth in exports over the nine-month period.