October 20, 2009
The cost of living keeps going up. Most people already know that but confirmation came today from the Statistical Institute of Belize, which released the latest consumer price Index. According to the document, following declines for three consecutive quarters, the overall price level rose by zero point eight percent between May and August 2009. According to the Statistical Institute, the modest turnaround in inflation largely reflects the relative volatility in crude oil prices and the continued upward movements in fuel prices over the past few months. The cost of transportation continued to rise at a faster rate than other goods and services, increasing by three point five percent in the three month period. The most significant increases were in gasoline and diesel prices. Gas prices went up by nine point two percent, while diesel jumped a whopping twenty one point three percent. The rent, water, fuel and power group category edged upward largely due to higher butane and kerosene prices. S.I.B. says that all groups, except for the food and beverages group, recorded increases when compared to the second quarter. The food and beverages index fell by zero point seven percent largely driven by strong declines in prices of rice and flour. It is noteworthy that the prices of onion, beans and tomatoes were up by an average of twenty six point nine percent. Up to August, consumer prices were three point six percent lower when compared to the same period of 2008. Analysts say that decline in pressure both from high energy and food prices helped to lower the index between May and August of this year.