The Statistical Institute of Belize released its latest figures on the consumer price index today and the report reveals that the cost of living for the month of November 2017, increased by 0.9 percent. The All-Items Consumer Price Index for the month stood at 105.2, an increase from 104.2 in November of 2016 (see Figure 1).
For the first eleven months of the year, a year-to-date inflation rate of 1.2 percent was recorded.
The ‘Transport’ category saw prices rise by 6.3 percent on average during the month (see Figure 2). This was attributed primarily to increases in international airfares and prices within the ‘Fuels and Lubricants’ sub-category. The price per gallon of Premium gasoline rose 19 percent from $10.11 in November 2016 to $12.02 in November 2017, while Regular gasoline rose 7.2 percent from $9.55 per gallon to $10.23 per gallon, and the price per gallon of Diesel was up 8 percent from $8.90 to $9.61 (see Table 1).
In addition, domestic bus fares were 4.5 percent higher than they were in the same month of 2016, putting further upward pressure on the overall ‘Transport’ category.
If we take a look at inflation by municipality the figures show that Punta Gorda Town saw the highest overall increase in consumer prices, with an inflation rate of 1.9 percent (see Figure 3). This municipality recorded increases that were well above the national averages in several categories, including ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ and ‘Furnishing, Household Equipment, and Routine Household Maintenance’. Orange Walk Town, on the other hand, saw prices decreasing considerably across categories such as ‘Clothing and Footwear’ and ‘Recreation and Culture’, and as a result experienced the lowest rate of inflation for the month at negative 0.1 percent. In tomorrow’s newscast we will take a look at external trade and the labor force.