Inflation Went Down Due To Fuel
The Statistic Institute of Belize has released its latest figures for June 2015, and the assessment is that on average, the cost of goods and services are 0.8 percent lower this year than at the same time last year.
The all items Consumer Price Index was at 102.8, down from 103.6 in the same month last year, which indicates a inflation rate of NEGATIVE 0.9 percent. The main contributor to this overall change is the falling fuel prices worldwide. In Belize, the prices of premium and regular gas was about 18 percent lower this year, and diesel went down the lowest by 25% in one year. That fall in fuel prices has a somewhat direct correlation to international airfares, and SIB reports that the cost of those went down by almost 25 percent when compared to June of last year.
Food prices are marginally down by 0.1 percent, and the most significant drop recorded was the prices of red kidney beans. Those declined by more than one third when compared to a year ago. But, the drastic decrease in Beans is offset on the CPI measurement by the increase prices in both pork and beef products.
In the category of utility bills, specifically “housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, liquefied petroleum gas, better known as LPG, butane or cooking gas, is priced at 109 dollars and 91 cents. That’s down by 0.9 percent from last year’s price which was 115 dollars and 75 cents. Electricity tariffs, which were decreased in January of this year, were almost 9 percent lower than last year in June.
Rating the 7 towns and 2 cities in the country, the SIB says that Dangriga was the only municipality to record an increase in consumer prices with an inflation rate of 1.9 percent, meaning it became more expensive to live there, in the last 12 months. Belmopan had the greatest decrease, recording an inflation rate of negative 1.8 percent during the last year.
The Statistic Institute of Belize released other figures, and we’re still in the process of reviewing them. We’ll have more for you in tomorrow’s newscast.
External Figures Shows An Increase In Importation
And while the figures of cost of living reveal a small decline from last year, the external trade bulletin reveals that during the month of June 2015, Belize imported goods valued at $189.2 million which is equivalent to 20.1 percent or 31.7 million increase from last year June.
The bulletin also revealed that ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ had the largest increase of almost $16 million, from $31 million to $47 million, due to purchases of sailboats and airplanes during the month. ‘Manufactured Goods’ grew by more than $6 million, to almost $24 million, the result of growth in the imports of various construction supplies. Additionally, a spike in wheat seed purchases led to a $5 million increase in imports of ‘Food and Live Animals’.
In contrast, ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ fell from $17 million to $14 million, owing both to a decrease in the quantity of fuel imported as well as to lower fuel prices on the world market, compared to last June. Goods destined for the Commercial Free Zone grew by almost $4 million, as importation of cigarettes and clothing continued their upward trend.
Turning to the export scene, the bulletin revealed that Belize’s domestic exports for the month of June 2015 was $52.6 million, down $14 million or 21 percent from the $66.6 million recorded in June 2014. This decline was due primarily to decreased exports of some of the country’s top export earners, including orange concentrate and shrimp. Citrus exports fell by a substantial $14 million, due almost entirely to a steep drop in orange concentrate sales, from more than $15 million to just under $3 million. However, this was due to a delayed crop and a change in reaping practices. And while a sale surge in orange concentrate is expected in the coming months, marine exports dropped by $4 million, as shrimp earnings were halved in the month of June, from $7.4 million to $3.6 million. The North’s bloodline Sugar was the only major export to have increased during the month and grew by $6 million, from $19 million to $25 million. A major part of this increase was attributed to a large shipment for the month, which also included May’s bulk sugar shipment. Goods exported for the first six months of 2015, totaled $304 million, $37 million less than the $341 million exported during the same period in 2014.