The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) issued its latest figures on consumer prices index for the month of April 2018 which reflects that the cost of living saw a decrease falling from 105.3 to 104.3 marking a difference of 0.5 percent in comparison to last year. (Insert Figure 1). For the first four months, there was a slight decline in consumer prices compared to 2017, recording a year to date inflation rate of negative 0.2 percent.
(Insert Table 1) As it relates to the Transport category, there was an overall decrease of 4.8 percent despite a rise in fuel prices. The average price per gallon of Premium gasoline rose by 6.3 percent, Regular gasoline rose by 7.7 while the price per gallon of Diesel increased by 12.3 percent.
Insert Table 1) Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages recorded an overall decrease of 0.2 percent during the month, however, there were increases in prices of a few products including red kidney beans, potatoes, limes, other cuts of poultry, and pork chops. As for the Housing Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels category, an increase of 0.7 percent was documented. This was mainly attributed to a significant jump of 18 percent in the cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) at the start of the month.
(Insert Figure 3) Taking a look at the inflation rates across all seven municipalities while all of them saw lower prices on average during the month, Punta Gorda Town recorded an overall increase in prices. San Ignacio/ Santa Elena Town, on another note, reported the largest decline in consumer prices, with an inflation rate of negative 2.1 percent mainly due to a drop in food prices that was well above the national average for the month.