The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) published its recent figures today for Consumer Prices Index (CPI) where results show that the cost of living recorded a minor overall decrease of 0.3 percent for the month of June 2019 compared to June 2018. (Insert Figure 1) Statistics reflect that CPI stood at 104.7, compared to last year which recorded 105.0. Higher prices for food items, electricity, and tertiary education and nightclub admissions were offset by lower prices in rent, fuel and international airfares. The cumulative inflation rate for the first six months in 2019 stood at 0.01 percent.
(Insert Figure 2) Under the ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’ category an overall increase of 0.6 percent was observed where higher prices were recorded for several items.
The Transport Category was the main contributor to the overall decline with prices down on average by 3.5 percent. Further contributing to the decrease was international airfares, which declined by 7.4 percent. However, such decreases were somewhat dampened by higher prices recorded for motor vehicle spare parts and accessories, along with increased costs for the maintenance and repair of personal vehicles.
(Insert Figure 2) ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ fell by 0.7 percent, mostly due to a one percent decrease in home rental costs. This was partly offset by an 11.9 percent increase in electricity rates, which came into effect earlier in the year. (Insert Table 1) The cost of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) saw a marginal increase of 0.2 percent for the month, with the average cost of a 100-pound cylinder of LPG up slightly from $115.08 to $115.26. The remaining categories of goods and services accounted for an overall 0.4 percent rise in consumer prices during the month.
Across all municipalities, Punta Gorda Town saw the highest rate of increase in consumer prices for the month, with an inflation rate of 2.9 percent. Dangriga Town, on the other hand, reported the lowest inflation rate, with prices falling by 5.5 percent on average.
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