Belmopan- Belizean households saw the prices of goods and services which they regularly purchase rise by 0.6 percent, on average, when compared to the same month in 2016. For the first seven months of 2017, a year-to-date inflation rate of 1.4 percent was recorded.
The ‘Transport’ index was once again the major driving force behind the overall rise in consumer prices for the month, with prices within this category recording a 6.3 percent increase in comparison to July 2016. This rise in transport costs was attributed in large part to significantly higher airfare prices, which experienced a spike in early 2017. The increase in bus fares, which took effect in late 2016, was also a major contributing factor, as was an increase in the prices for new motor vehicles.
On average, consumers spent 0.7 percent less on ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’. According to SIB, this category recorded decreases in the prices of several food items including ground beef, beef steak, whole chickens, onions, cabbage and limes. In the category of food and beverage however, the price of beer increased on average increased no less than 9,6%, due to a change in excise tax.
The ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ category recorded a 0.4 percent increase in comparison to July of last year. A slight decline in home rental prices was able to mitigate the effects of a 20.9 percent increase in Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). The average cost of a 100-pound cylinder of LPG now stood at $99.67 at the end of July 2017.
SIB figures show that for the month of July 2017, Orange Walk Town, which recorded the most significant decrease in home rental prices, saw the lowest rate of inflation at negative 1.2 percent. Dangriga, on the other hand, which experienced the greatest rise in home rental prices, had the nation’s highest inflation rate at 2.7 percent.