Here are S.I.B's latest releases: April 2014 External Trade Bulletin, April 2014 Consumer Price Index, First Quarter 2014 Gross Domestic Product.
Statistical Institute of Belize
1907 Constitution Drive
April 2014 External Trade Bulletin
In April 2014, the value of Belize’s total imports was
$159.8 million, a $2.1 million or 1.3 percent decrease
over the same month in 2013.
The most significant spending decrease was for goods
imported into the free zones, which fell by 29 percent
to $16 million, followed by Manufactured Goods whose
value decreased by 14.5 percent primarily because
of reduced purchases of metal roofing sheets and
construction steel bars.
Belize imported over $60 million worth of goods from
the United States during the month. Curaçao and
Mexico remained the second and third largest sources
of imports, respectively, combining for a 25 percent
At the end of the first four months of this year, import
spending was up by 24 percent to a little over $600
million. The bulk of the increase was on Machinery and
Transport Equipment and Manufactured Goods.
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April 2014 Consumer Price Index
April 2014 Inflation Rate 1.3 Percent
Figures released today by the Statistical Institute of Belize
show that the all-items consumer price index was up by 1.3
percent from April last year to April this year. This brings
the inflation rate for the first four months of 2014 to 1.6
percent. The increase was almost entirely attributable to
higher prices in the Food, Transport, and Housing, Water,
Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels categories.
The Food index rose by 1 percent in April, with vegetable
prices once again showing the most significant increase.
Onions, lettuce, cabbages, carrots, Red Kidney Beans and
black beans all had price increases of 20 percent or more.
Sweet pepper and tomato prices, in stark contrast, fell by
about 20 percent. Prices for fresh meats and other meat
products, especially beef and pork, were up in April. The
average price for a pound of ground beef, for example,
rose by 17 percent from $4.55 to $5.31 compared to April
Despite higher international airfares, the Transport index
rose by 1.8 percent, held down somewhat by lower fuel
Home rentals, particularly in Dangriga, San Ignacio and
Belize City, were almost 2 percent higher than in April
2013. Butane prices were up by over 10 percent for the
month, with the average cost of a 100-pound cylinder up
from $115 to $128.
As in the previous two months, Dangriga had the highest
inflation rate at 2.5 percent. Orange Walk Town and Punta
Gorda recorded the lowest, with 0.5 percent and 0.6
GDP Down Slightly in First Quarter
Preliminary figures released by the Statistical Institute of
Belize show the Belizean economy dipped by 0.4 percent
in the first quarter of 2014, following eight consecutive
quarters of positive growth. This decline resulted entirely
from decreased production in the goods-producing sectors,
specifically agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
In the case of the agriculture, production decreased by almost
10 percent, largely due to a continued downturn in orange
production and a late start in the harvesting of sugarcane.
Regarding the latter, it should be noted that the opening of
the current sugarcane crop was delayed by two months due
to an impasse between sugarcane farmers and the Belize
Sugar Industries Limited over whether farmers were entitled
to a portion of the company’s income from the use of bagasse
for power generation.
Banana production fell slightly due to unfavourable weather
conditions at the beginning of the year. The decline in the
three major agricultural resulted in a 30 percent or $26 million
fall in their earnings compared with the same period last year.
Crude petroleum extraction remained dismal, declining by as
much as 23 percent and reaching its lowest first-quarter level
since the start of production in 2006. There were only two
oil shipments during the quarter, causing receipts to fall by
more than $17 million. The manufacturing sector, meanwhile,
declined by 17 percent, reflecting sizeable falls in sugar and
citrus concentrate production. Beer production rose 6 percent
while soft drink and flour production were virtually unchanged.
Among the other goods-producing sectors, Electricity and
Water expanded by a robust 50 percent due to a surge in
hydroelectricity generation, which had fallen drastically during
the first quarter of 2013 because of minimal rainfall. The
Fishing sector, due to the strong showing of shrimp farming,
netted 20 percent growth in the first quarter. According to the
Belize Shrimp Growers Association, Belize has benefitted
from significantly higher prices on shrimp sales to Mexico
due to the disease that has severely affected shrimp
production there. While slowing from previous years, growth
in Construction was just under 7 percent.
Services, which account for about three-fifths of the total size
of the economy, edged up by 0.9 percent during the first three
months of the year. The Hotels and Restaurant sector, in
particular, grew by roughly 13 percent, reflecting a significant
increase in tourist arrival during the period as shown in Figure
4. The Government sector was the second best growth
performer among services, expanding at a steady 3 percent
during the quarter.