January 16th, 2008 The consumer price index (CPI) published today by the Statistical Institute of Belize, shows that consumer prices went up by 6.4%. As shown in the graph below, this is Belize’s highest rate of inflation in the last twelve years.

The general hike in consumer prices was largely precipitated by an increase of 13.3% in “food, beverages and tobacco”, the highest increase in this category in 25 years. This rise is attributed to significant price increases in staples such as flour (50.4%), rice (34.9%) and chicken (15.8%). While motorists felt some relief at the fuel pump, particularly in the last quarter of 2008, the higher cost of fuel in the first three quarters of the year led to an overall increase of 3.5% in the “transport and communications” category.

Among the other major categories of goods and services, the cost of “medical care” rose by 3.0% and “rent, water, fuel and power” increased by 3.6%. The “clothing and footwear” and “recreation, education and culture” categories recorded very little changes in prices from the previous years.

SIB announces the release of the 2008 Abstract of Statistics, a compendium of a wide range of social, economic, population, demographic and other statistics on Belize. This publication is available on CD-ROM and can be purchased at the Institute’s headquarters in Belmopan or any of its offices in the districts. The hard copy will be available in two weeks.

Source: Statistical Institute of Belize

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