Prices Down

The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its latest figures and they show prices trending down in November, led mainly by the falling price of fuel. The costs per gallon of premium and regular gasoline were down by 25 percent and 27 percent, respectively, while diesel declined by 24 percent in comparison to November 2014. And along that line, International airfares were 37 percent lower than during the same month last year – which has to do with the falling price of oil and an increase in the number of carriers and flights to and from Belize.

LPG or Butane declined by almost 30 percent, as the average price of a 100-pound cylinder fell to $84 in November 2015 from $117 in the same month last year.

Food prices were also down from last year. Despite higher prices for beef, pork, eggs, the price went down for red kidney beans, cooking oil, shortening and fresh vegetables,.

A release says that the prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean households were, on average, 1.2 percent lower in November 2015, than in November of last year. So, for the first eleven months of this year, the inflation rate was negative 0.9 percent.

All municipalities across the country recorded falling consumer prices during November 2015, with the exception of Dangriga, where prices increased by 2.1 percent due to higher home rental costs. Belmopan recorded the biggest drop in consumer prices with an overall decrease of 3.3 percent.

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November Figures In from SIB

Before the year is up, the Statistical Institute of Belize issued its latest release and this one has to do with the month of November in regards to consumer price index, CPI and trade. According to the SIB, the prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean households were, on average, one point two percent lower in November 2015, than in November of last year. For the first eleven months of this year, an inflation rate of negative zero point nine percent was recorded.

The “Transport” category, which saw a decline of almost ten percent during the period, was the major driving force of this overall decrease in consumer prices. The costs per gallon of premium and regular gasoline were down by twenty five percent and twenty seven percent, respectively, while diesel declined by twenty four percent in comparison to November 2014.

All municipalities across the country recorded falling consumer prices during November 2015, with the exception of Dangriga, where prices increased by two point one percent as a result of a greater than average increase in home rental costs. On the other hand Belmopan continues to record the biggest drop in consumer prices with an overall decrease of three point three percent.

As for trade statistics, the country imported one hundred and ninety point two million dollars in November. Imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ rose sharply by twenty six million dollars, from thirty four million dollars during last November to sixty million dollars million in November 2015, due in large part to eighteen million dollars worth of motor vehicle parts purchased during the month. Importation of ‘Manufactured Goods’ rose by two million dollars owing to greater steel and tire purchases and was the only other notable increase during the month. Merchandise imports for the eleven months from January to November 2015 totaled one point nine billion dollars, a three point two percent or fifty eight point three million dollars increase over the same period last year.

On the other hand, Belize exported thirty eight point one million dollars in November. Sugar sales shot up from less than a million dollars in November 2014 to thirteen point four million dollars during this November. The three major products, crude petroleum, marine products and bananas, constituted almost three fourths of Belize’s export in November 2014, but had fallen to less than a half total imports in November 2015. Merchandise exports for the eleven months from January to November 2015 amounted to five hundred and fifteen point three million dollars, down eleven point five percent or sixty six point seven million dollars from the same period last year.

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Imports go up, but so do exports

Belize’s exports have risen while exports have declined, according to the latest data released from the Statistical Institute of Belize.

The SIB this week released its External Trade Bulletin for the month of November, which showed that imports had increased by 3.8 percent or $6.9 million, from $183.3 million imported in November 2014, to $190.2 million. Exports were recorded at $38.1 million, a $5.7 million or 17.8 increase from 2014’s $32.4 million.

Merchandise imports from January to November totaled $1.9 billion dollars, showing a 3.2 percent or $58.3 million increase over the same period last year. Merchandise exports for the eleven months (January to November) amounted to $515.3 million, down by 11.5 percent or $66.7 million from the same period last year.

Imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ rose sharply by $26 million, from $34 million during last November to $60 million in November 2015. The increase was due primarily to $18 million increase in importing motor vehicle parts. Importation of ‘Manufactured Goods’ rose by $2 million owing to greater steel and tire purchases and was the only other notable increase during the month.

“Sugar sales shot up from less than a million dollars in November 2014 to $13.4 million during this November, offsetting declines in Belize’s three other major exports. These three major products, crude petroleum, marine products and bananas, constituted almost three fourths of Belize’s export in November 2014, but had fallen to less than a half total imports in November 2015.” The SIB said.

Crude petroleum faced the largest decrease at $4 million for the month, while marine products and bananas each declined by $2 million. Citrus exports maintained an upward trend, increasing by over a million dollars in comparison to the same month last year.

Inflation down, says SIB

The latest data from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) shows that the average prices for goods and services in Belize had decreased for the month of November.

The SIB’s Consumer Price Index, released this past week, showed that prices were 1.2 percent, or an average or $1.20 cheaper than they were last year. The All-Items Consumer Price Index fell to 102.6 in November 2015 from 103.9.

The “Transport” category, contributed the most to the overall of the price drops, showing a decrease of almost 10 percent. The costs per gallon of premium and regular gasoline were down by 25 percent and 27 percent, respectively, while diesel declined by 24 percent in comparison to 2014.

International airfares were 37 percent lower than during the same month last year. The SIB attributed the decrease to falling world oil prices coupled with the recent increase in the number of carriers and flights travelling to and from Belize.

“Despite increases in the prices of some products, the category of “Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages” saw an average decline of 0.7 percent,” the SIB said. “While consumers faced higher prices for beef, pork, fish and eggs, these were offset by declines in red kidney beans, cooking oil, shortening and fresh vegetables, resulting in an overall decrease in food prices, when compared to the same month in 2014.”

All municipalities across the country recorded falling consumer prices during November 2015, except Dangriga, where prices actually increased by 2.1 percent. The SIB said that the increase was a result of a greater-than-average increase in home rental costs.

The Reporter