Belmopan- The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of February 2018 shows a positive trend, with prices in the country easing half a percent overall.
The ‘Transport’ category especially, registed a 4.7% decrease in February 2018, according to figures released by the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB).
SIB notes that prices in this category had been steadily rising since August of 2016 and that the decline in February 2018 compared to February 2017, was the first decline in a long time.
SIB notes that although rising fuel prices have been a major contributor to the upward trend in ‘Transport’ prices during recent months, for the month of February 2018 this increase was offset by a sharp decline in international airfare prices.
Over the last year, many international carriers have chosen to add Belize to their route network, driving prices for tickets to and from Belize considerably down from what they used to be a few years ago. New additions to PGIA are Southwest Airlines, Air Canada and Westjet Airlines, also from Canada.
Fuel prices rose again
The news was not all good in the transport sector. Within the ‘Fuel and Lubricants’ subcategory, the price per gallon of Premium gasoline rose 9.4 percent from $10.48 in February 2017 to $11.46 in February 2018, while Regular gasoline rose 5.9 percent from $9.71 to $10.29, and the price per gallon of Diesel was up 11.1 percent from $9.11 to $10.12.
The rise in fuel costs impacts more people in Belize than the decline in airfare does, but overall, the decrease in airfare costs has had a positive impact on transportation costs for the country.
The category Food & Alcoholic Beverages also showed a slight decrease in February 2018, compared to the previous year, of -0.4%. Prices within the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ category rose by 0.5 percent for the month of February 2018.
A marginal increase of 0.2 percent for prices within ‘All Other Categories Of Goods And Services’ was attributed almost entirely to higher prices for ‘Alcoholic Beverages’. This reflected a 7.1 percent rise in the average price of beer as a result of last year’s increase in excise tax