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SIB releases latest figures, consumer prices continue to rise

The Statistical Institute of Belize released its December figures yesterday. Figures show that on average, consumer prices were up by one point one percent. An inflation rate of point seven percent was recorded for 2016. Orange Walk Town and Belmopan recorded the highest inflation rates for the month at two point eight and two point seven percent, respectively. This is attributed to increases in Transportation and home rental prices. Dangriga and Punta Gorda Town recorded the only decreases in consumer prices for the month. In December 2016 the ‘Transport’ index rose by nine point nine percent and fuel prices rose by fifteen point five percent. In the Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ category an overall one point six decrease was seen. Food prices alone were down by one point five percent in comparison to December 2015. On average, vegetable prices recorded a six point five percent decrease. Belize’s total imports for the month of December 2016 were valued at one hundred and seventy three point nine million dollars. This was a decrease of three point two percent or five point eight million dollars compared to December, 2015. For the second consecutive month, imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ remained the category which saw the biggest decline, recording a drop of over seven million dollars. Merchandise imports for 2016 totaled almost two billion dollars, a decrease of four point three percent or eighty nine point one million dollars from the total imports recorded for 2015.  Total domestic exports for December 2016 amounted to seventeen point nine million dollars, down ten point seven percent or two point one million dollars when compared to December, 2015. A drop of two point eight million dollars was recorded in citrus exports. Bananas saw a decrease of point six million dollars while sugar revenues grew by point one million dollars. Marine exports saw an increase of two point one million dollars.