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#494023 - 07/30/14 09:43 PM June 2014 External Trade & Consumer Price Index
Marty Online   happy
The latest figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize show that theconsumer price index rose 1.3 percent in June. The increase was caused by higher transport and home rental prices. Rent went up in San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Orange Walk and Dangriga Towns. And the change in transport prices wasn't due to bus fares - which are stable - but due to higher international airfares and motor vehicle prices.

The price of vegetables continued to go up due to short supply of cabbage, however, these were offset by decreases in the price of rice, breakfast cereals, pasta and eggs.

Punta Gorda and Belize City recorded the lowest inflation rates at less than one percent while prices in San Ignacio/Santa Elena increased 2.4 percent, almost twice national average.

And while that's the story for inflation, in trade June 2014 was the very first month in over a year that there was an increase in the value of Belize's domestic exports. Exports increased by 20 percent with sugar being single largest export earner, with sales increasing by almost 50 percent to $19 million.

Here are S.I.B's latest releases:
June 2014 External Trade Bulletin,
June 2014 Consumer Price Index

Statistical Institute of Belize
1907 Constitution Drive
Belmopan, Belize


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#494048 - 07/31/14 11:07 AM Re: June 2014 External Trade & Consumer Price Index [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

SIB Releases Latest Statistics…Inflation Up…

The Statistical Institute of Belize is reporting a five point seven percent increase in goods imported into Belize in the month of June. That represents one hundred and fifty nine million dollars more than the same period last year. Imports on items such as premium gasoline, milled rice, condensed milk and processed cheese contributed to the increase, but according to the SIB, direct imports into the commercial free zones fell by as much eight million dollars.

Since the start of the year, Belize’s import bill has grown to nine hundred and fifty six million dollars which is up by more than six percent than in the same period last year. The June 2014 domestic export figures have also been released, showing that for the first time this year exports shot up to sixty-five point five million dollars or twenty percent. The biggest contributor to the increase is sugar with sales of nineteen million dollars. Citrus concentrate remained at seventeen million dollars; sales in marine products and bananas were also consistent.

But while imports and exports went up in June, all in all, in the first six months of the year there were significant declines in crude oil, citrus and sugar sales and the value of Belize’s domestic exports declined by seventeen percent to three hundred and twenty million dollars between January and June. The European Union accounted for forty-four percent of receipts. Notably, sales to the US markets went down by four percent. The SIB reports that the cost of living also registered an increase of one point three percent.

Figures released show that the increase was due to higher transport and home rental prices, particularly in San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Orange Walk Town and Dangriga. As it relates to utilities, water rates went up while electricity went down. The cost of international airfares and motor vehicles also contributed to the increase in the transport index.

Food prices also went up slightly in June due to a shortfall of cabbage but SIB is reporting a drop in the prices for rice, cereals, pasta and eggs. The lowest inflation rates were recorded in Punta Gorda and Belize City while prices went up in the Cayo District by a two point four percent.


Channel 5


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#495174 - 08/30/14 11:03 AM Re: June 2014 External Trade & Consumer Price Index [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Prime Minister Confident in Belize’s Economic Performance

On Wednesday, the Statistical Institute of Belize announced that there was significant economic growth in the second quarter of this year, as much as eight point seven percent. But we checked the stats and found out the following. In 2013, the GDP growth for the first quarter January to March was negative point five percent. For the second quarter of 2013, April to June, it was one percent. For the year 2013, the growth rate of GDP was point seven percent, that’s a decline from the second quarter. Now for this year 2014, the GDP growth for the first quarter January to March, was negative point four percent. The figures just released for the second quarter of 2014, growth is reported at eight point seven percent, a substantively high increase in a matter of three months. That seems to be statistically improbable because there has not been anything significant growth, say in fuel, employment levels, consumer price index, oil, sugar and other commodities. Likewise, there are other factors which would influence growth as the trade deficit, which is in the negative as well as private sector investment which has decreased.  The PM, however, is brimming with confidence.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“I’m very pleased not just with the extremely strong second quarter growth, but I notice they also indicated they’ve revised last year’s growth figure which has gone from zero point seven percent to certainly one point four, one point five percent. But in terms of the here and now, that second quarter growth is phenomenal and I am very pleased indeed.”

Reporter

“Speaking of growth, are you concerned that over the course of the year it will taper off. In terms of obviously we’ve had a strong quarter but at the end of the year, we might have again negative growth as we did in the first quarter. We won’t have eight point seven for the remaining two quarters.”

Dean Barrow

“Well how do you know that? This is it; you are getting into speculation now and you may well be right, but again you may not. I think when you look at the nature historically of the performance of the economy during the course of a particular year, the third quarter can, I think, be expected not to be as strong as the second quarter. But then the last quarter can certainly be expected to be stronger than the third quarter. So in the end, I am hopeful that it would all even out ad we will finish with growth that is certainly in excess of the projections. There is nothing anybody can say to rain on our parade with respect to this phenomenal eight point seven percent second quarter growth.”

Reporter

“Sir can you also comment on the other side of the economic profile being the decline in export earnings and also the fact that the difference between what Belize exports and what it imports continues to be a huge divide?”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Well, again what it is, is what it is. We have to continue to try to increase exports. I don’t know how soon we can expect to reach a point where our exports in fact will outpace our imports. We are an importing economy. So many of the inputs that go into the very processes that then results in exports has to come from abroad. So it is not a situation that one can by any means describe as desirably, but it is what it is. And if overall, we have the kind of growth in the economy that we are experiencing then we are able to in fact pay for our import fees. And if we have the kind of record foreign reserves that we possess at this time, it is a conundrum that is not going to overcome us.”

Channel 5


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