OCTOBER: Belize’s total imports for the month of October 2015
were valued at $184.2 million. This was an increase of 3.5 percent or
$6.2 million over last October’s imports, which were valued at almost
$178 million. Two thirds of all the goods imported during the month
consisted of machinery, equipment, manufactured items, and goods
for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’.
Goods destined for the ‘Export Processing Zones’ grew by $5 million
from $9 million to $13 million, due to large purchases of steam
turbines. Imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’, and ‘Food
and Live Animals’ both rose by $4 million, with purchases of personal
vehicles, portable radio telephones and various food items all rising
in comparison to October 2014. Increased steel purchases resulted
in a $2 million increase in ‘Manufactured Goods’ during the month.
Imports into the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ and the category of
‘Mineral and Fuels and Lubricants’ experienced the largest declines
for the month, at $9 million and $5 million, respectively. While the
latter resulted from fewer cigarette and clothing purchases, the
former was caused by lower world market prices across all types
OCTOBER: Total domestic exports for October 2015 amounted to
$37.9 million, down 15.8 percent or $7.1 million when compared to last
October’s exports of $45 million. Crude petroleum, marine and banana
sales, which together accounted for almost three quarters of export
revenues in October 2014, all declined for the month, contributing
only a half of total exports in October 2015. Crude petroleum dropped
by more than a half, from $11 million to $5 million. Diminished marine
exports, owing to reduced farm shrimp sales, fell from $11 million to
$7 million. Additionally, banana exports experienced a $2 million drop
for the month, as sales abroad declined from $10 million to $8 million,
owing to the exclusion of one banana farm.
CONSUMER PRICES DOWN BY 0.8%
During the month of October 2015, prices of goods and services purchased by Belizean households were, on
average, 0.8 percent lower than in October 2014. According
to the latest statistics on consumer prices released by the
Statistical Institute of Belize, the All-Items Consumer Price
Index stood at 102.9, down from 103.8 in the same month last
year. For the first ten months of this year, an inflation rate of
negative 0.9 percent was recorded.
The “Transport” category declined by 7 percent and remains
the single greatest contributor to the overall decrease in
consumer prices, driven primarily by falling fuel costs. All
three types of fuel recorded a substantial drop in prices when
compared to October 2014. Premium and regular gasoline
were down by about 23 percent and 28 percent, respectively,
while diesel recorded the greatest decline of 29 percent.
The category of “Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages” was
almost unchanged, decreasing by a marginal 0.2 percent
when compared to the same period of 2014. At the individual
product level, significant increases continued to be observed
in the prices of beef, pork and eggs. However, these were
offset by lower prices for red kidney beans, cooking oil,
shortening and fresh vegetables.
Although home rental prices recorded an increase of 0.8
percent compared to October 2014, the “Housing, Water,
Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels” category showed no overall
change. This was due to the fact that higher home rental
prices were offset by the continued decline in the price of
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), which dropped by $31 or 27
percent from $115 in October 2014 to $84 in October 2015.
Across all other categories of goods and services prices rose,
on average, by just under 1 percent. Items such as doctors’
consultation fees and motor vehicle insurance premiums
were up in comparison to October 2014, and dampened the
effect of sharply lower fuel prices on the overall inflation rate.
Dangriga and Punta Gorda were the only municipalities that
recorded increases in consumer prices with inflation rates of
1.8 and 1 percent, respectively. Home rental prices were up
by 2.7 percent in both towns, more than in any of the other
municipalities. In contrast, Belmopan recorded the lowest
inflation rate of negative 2 percent, reflecting the smallest
increase in rent, while Corozal Town saw virtually no change
in prices, on average.
You may download the entire series for both External Trade and CPI in Excel format from the Statistical Institute of Belize website: (http://www.sib.org.bz/statistics)