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SIB: “Consumer price down by 0.5%”

The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) released its latest figures for February 2018, which shows that consumer prices are down by point five percent, when compared to February 2017.   Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician II explains.

Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician: As we look at the major categories affecting the inflation rate; the food and nonalcoholic beverages category decreased by 0.4%, the transport category decreased by 4.7% and the Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other fuels category reported  0.5% increase. Bear in mind that these three categories hold some of the largest weights in the basket combining approximately 60% of household spending meaning that even slight movements in these categories can have a large impact of the overall CPI and inflation rate and if you notice both food and transport fell and the overall CPI fell as well and it’s at 0.5. For the purpose of this presentation the remaining goods and services have been grouped into the all other categories of goods and services which recorded a 0.2% increase and next we will break down each of these major categories and see what exactly contributed to the decrease or increase. First we will look at the food and nonalcoholic beverages category, when compared to February 2017 there was a 0.5% decrease in food prices alone with a 0.1% decrease in nonalcoholic beverages.”

Sabal said that transport has been recording an increase in prices since August 2016, however, in February it experienced a decline of four point seven percent when compared to February 2017.

Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician: “Transport is usually one of the main categories that contributes to the overall rise in the inflation rate and this was mainly due to fluctuation in fuel and lubricants, however for the month of February 2018 International air fair prices decrease significantly in comparison to February of last year and this caused a major decline in the Transport by air category.”

For the month of February, Punta Gorda saw the highest rate of increase in consumer prices.

Jacqueline Sabal, Statistician: “Across all municipalities Punta Gorda reported the only positive increase in prices while Cayo reported the smallest decrease at 1.6%. Punta Gorda had the highest increase in non-alcoholic beverages along with one of highest increase in Non-alcoholic beverages along with one of the highest increases in food prices while Cayo has lower home rental and food costs.”

A minimal increase of 0.2 percent for prices within all other categories of goods and services was due mostly to higher prices for alcoholic beverages.