Consumer Price Index
CONSUMER PRICES UP 0.6% IN JUNE 2017
During the month of June 2016, the All-Items Consumer Price
Index stood at 104.4, an increase from 103.7 in June 2016. The
prices of goods and services regularly purchased by Belizean
Households were, on average, 0.6 percent higher than they were
in the same month of 2016 (See Figure 1). For the first six months
of 2017, a year-to-date inflation rate of 1.5 percent was recorded.
The ‘Transport’ index was the single greatest contributor to the
overall rise in consumer prices for the month of June 2017, with
items within this category rising on average by 6.7 percent when
compared to June 2017 (See Figure 2). Higher motor car purchase
prices, international airfares, and national bus fares all contributed
significantly to the increase in ‘Transport’ costs. In addition, ‘Fuels
and Lubricants’ saw increases across fuel types, with the highest
price hike being recorded for Premium gasoline, which rose by
almost 19 percent from $8.94 in June of last year to $10.62 in June
2017. Diesel prices were up 7 percent from $8.49 to $9.08, while
Regular gasoline was up almost 6 percent from $9.43 to $9.97.
Prices within the ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’
category rose slightly by 0.3 percent when compared to June of
last year, mainly due to an 18.9 percent increase in the average
price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). The average cost of
a 100-pound cylinder of LPG rose from $83.90 in June 2016 to
$99.74 in June 2017 (see Table 1). The increase in LPG prices
overshadowed a marginal 0.4 percent decrease in home rental
prices for the period.
Consumers saw a slight decrease of 0.6 percent for items within
the category of ‘Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages’. Prices within
this category have remained relatively stable since late 2016, with
only a few items driving the overall decline during this month.
These included eggs, milks, beef steak, whole chickens, onions,
cabbages and watermelons (see Table 1).
Across the country’s various municipalities, Dangriga once again
experienced the highest increase in consumer prices for the
month. This municipality recorded an inflation rate of 3.1 percent,
due primarily to a higher than average increase in home rental
prices. Orange Walk Town, on the other hand, which saw home
rental costs decline in comparison to June 2017, had the lowest
inflation rate of negative 1.2 percent (see Figure 3).
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External Trade Bulletin
IMPORTS DOWN 4.9%, EXPORTS UP 5.2% IN JUNE 2017
June 2017: Belize’s total imports for the month of June 2017 were
valued at $154.7 million. This was a decrease of 4.9 percent or $8
million from imports for June 2016, which totalled $162.7 million,
and was as a result of reduced imports across several of the major
categories of goods.
A significant drop in ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ from $20.5 million
to $14.6 million was the primary contributor to the overall fall in imports
for the month. There were significant decreases in the quantities of
all types of fuel imported, with the volume of diesel purchased from
abroad falling by one third while that of gasoline declined by almost a
half compared to June of last year. No kerosene was imported during
the month. The ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ category
saw a $4.6 million drop from $32.7 million to $28 million, owing
to decreased imports of 4-cylinder vehicles, transformers, aircraft
engines and transport vehicles. Lower imports of printed books,
school bags and plastic laboratory articles resulted in a $2.5 million
decline in ‘Other Manufactures’ from $16.4 million to $13.9 million,
while fewer imports of handbags and cigarettes were reflected in a
$2.2 million decrease in goods destined for the ‘Commercial Free
Zone’ from $29.1 million to $26.9 million.
The most substantial increase in imports was seen in the ‘Chemical
Products’ category, which rose from $17.3 million in June of 2016 to
$19.9 million in June 2017. ‘Beverages and Tobacco’, meanwhile,
grew by $2.2 million from $1.8 million to $4 million, owing to
heightened imports of cigarettes and whisky during the month.
‘Food and Live Animals’ experienced a $1.9 million rise compared
to the same month in 2016, with increased purchases of lard and
shortening, maize seeds, and soups and broths resulting in an
increase from $17.4 million to $19.2 million within this category.
FIRST SIX MONTHS OF THE YEAR: Merchandise imports for the
period January to June 2017 totaled $894.3 million, representing
a 4.8 percent or a $45 million decrease from the same six-month
period last year. Imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’
plummeted by $56 million, from $239 million to $182.6 million,
due to lower purchases of recording and transmission parts and
equipment. Falling imports of ‘Food and Live Animals’ resulted in
a $7 million decline from $116.4 million in 2016 to $109.4 million in
2017. Goods destined for the ‘Export Processing Zones’ dropped by
$7.5 million, owing to reduced purchases of gaming and woodwork
machines, while imports to the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ were down
by $4.7 million, due to decreased purchases of handbags, tobacco,
footwear, and men’s clothing.
June 2017: Total domestic exports for June 2017 were valued at
$38.7 million, up 5.2 percent or $1.9 million when compared to the
same period last year, as a substantial increase in sugar sales for
the month offset decreases among the other major exports.
June 2017. Marine products also saw some improvement, due almost entirely to a $1.6 million increase in shrimp sales. In contrast, other major
exports experienced noteable downturns. Citrus concentrate sales fell from by almost $4 million from $12.4 million to $8.7 million, while banana
earnings were down to $5 million, a modest decrease of $1 million when compared to June 2016. No crude petroleum was exported during the
month of June 2017, compared to $5.4 million in sales for the same month of last year.
FIRST SIX MONTHS OF THE YEAR: Total domestic exports for the first six months of 2017 were valued at $276.3 million, up $44.5 million or 19.2
percent when compared to the same period last year.
Sugar continued to be Belize’s top export earner during the period, recording $107.6 million in earnings and accounting for more than a third of
total exports for January to June 2017. Earnings from this commodity were up substantially by 76 percent from the $61.3 million recorded in 2016.
Banana exports rose by $6 million from $35.7 million to $41.7 million, while marine earnings saw an increase, bolstered by a $2.7 million rise in
shrimp sales. Citrus concentrate exports saw a $17.6 million decline over the period, falling from $63 million in 2016 to $45.4 million in 2017.
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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)