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October 2018 External Trade & CPI, 3rd Quarter GDP #533499
11/28/18 05:16 PM
11/28/18 05:16 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,816
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Consumer Price Index


ALL-ITEMS: Results from the Statistical Institute of Belize's monthly Consumer Price Index survey show that, for the month of October 2018, the All-Items Consumer Price Index (CPI) stood at 1 05.3. This represented an increase, or inflation rate, of 0.8 percent compared to October 2017, when a CPI of 104.6 was recorded (see Figure 1 ). This means that on average, Belizean households paid 0.8 percent more for the same set of regularly purchased goods and services in October 2018 than they did during the same month of 2017. For the first ten months of this year, the cumulative inflation rate stood at 0.3 percent.

HOUSING, WATER, ELECTRICITY, GAS AND OTHER FUELS:With an overall increase of 1.5 percent for the month, the "Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels" category was the main contributor to the overall rise in consumer prices for October 2018. Home rental costs were up 1.1 percent compared to October 2017, due primarily to higher rental costs in San Ignacio/Santa Elena and Punta Gorda. Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) rose by 14.8 percent, as the average cost of a 1 00-pound cylinder of LPG rose by almost $15, from $100.21 in October 2017 to $115.04 in October 2018 (see Table 1). Adding to the overall increase within this category were electricity tariffs, which were up by 6.4 percent when compared to the same period last year, owing to rate increases which went into effect earlier this year.

TRANSPORT: Prices within the "Transport" category, which saw an overall increase of 1.0 percent for the month, also contributed significantly to the higher consumer prices observed for October 2018. This rise was mainly the result of a 4.1 percent increase in the "Fuels and Lubricants" sub-category. At the pump, the price per gallon of Diesel went up by 11 .3 percent from $9.65 in October 2017 to $10.75 in October 2018. Regular gasoline rose by 7.8 percent from $10.44 to $11 .25, while Premium gasoline fell slightly by 0.9 percent from $11 .95 to $11.83 (see Table 1). Also contributing to the overall increase in prices within this category were international airfares, which were 5.6 percent higher when compared to October 2017. Although there were some decreases, such as in the cost of spare parts and accessories for motor vehicles, these were insufficient to overshadow the higher fuel costs and airfares recorded for the month.

FOOD & NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES and ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: For the month of October 2018, prices for the "Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages" category saw an overall decrease of 0.9 percent when compared to October 2017 (see Figure 1). Lower prices were recorded for several meat products, such as pig tail and whole chicken, along with some vegetable and fruit items, including sweet peppers, limes and cabbages. These were able to offset price increases in other items, such as ground beef, beef steak, natural milk and watermelons (see Table 1).

ALL OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES: Across all the remaining categories of goods and services, prices increased on average by 1.1 percent in October 2018 compared to the same month last year. This was due to higher motor vehicle insurance premiums as well as higher doctor consultation fees and surgery costs.

INFLATION RATES BY MUNICIPALITY: For the third consecutive month, the twin towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena experienced the highest rate of increase in consumer prices, with an inflation rate of 2.7 percent. Consumers in those towns saw increases in home rental prices that were above the national average for the month. On the other hand, Dangriga Town saw consumer prices going down by 0.9 percent, as this town recorded lower food and home rental costs compared to October of last year.

Click here for the whole report!

External Trade



OCTOBER 2018: Belize’s total imports for the month of October 2018 were valued at over $193 million. This was an increase of 14.4 percent or $24.3 million from imports for October 2017, which totaled $168.7 million.

A significant 71 percent growth in the category of ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’, coupled with a sizeable 55 percent increase in purchases of ‘Chemical Products’ was the leading cause of rising imports for the month. The category of ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ surged by $12.4 million, from $17.5 million in October 2017 to $29.9 million in October 2018, owing to larger quantities of regular and diesel fuels being imported, and compounded by higher world market prices across all fuels. In addition, while there were no imports of premium fuel for last October, there were purchases of this fuel in October of this year. Imports of ‘Chemical Products’ rose sharply by $7.4 million, from $13.5 million to $20.9 million, due primarily to substantial purchases of fertilizers for the month. In addition, an increase in goods destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones and an uptick in food purchases from abroad also contributed to the growth in imports for the month. Imports into the ‘Commercial Free Zones’ went up by $4.2 million, from $31.6 million in last October to $35.8 million in October of this year, on account of greater purchases of cigarettes, women’s clothing and footwear. The category of ‘Food and Live Animals’ rose from $20.8 million to $22.9 million, as the country bought more lard (shortening), margarine and infant cereal compared to October of last year.

Notwithstanding the overall increase in imports for the month, decreases were noted in the category of ‘Other Manufactures’, which saw a reduction of $1.9 million, from $15.4 million to $13.5 million, as a result of fewer purchases of metal furniture, medical equipment and laboratory plastics.

FIRST TEN MONTHS OF THE YEAR: Merchandise imports for the first ten months, January to October 2018, amounted to $1.6 billion, representing a 5.8 percent or an almost $87 million increase from the same period last year.

Higher world market prices for fuel had the greatest impact on the growth in imports over the ten-month period, resulting in a 25 percent or nearly $47 million increase in ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’, from $186.7 million in 2017 to $233.7 million in 2018. Likewise, heightened imports of aviation equipment, telecommunications equipment and four-cylinder vehicles drove the ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ category up by $25.3 million, from $305.3 million to $330.6 million. Increased imports of bags, cigarettes, and clothing, such as sport uniforms and sweaters, led to a rise in goods destined for the ‘Commercial Free Zones’, from $246.3 million to $261.6 million. Furthermore, the categories of ‘Food and Live Animals’, ‘Chemical Products’, ‘Beverages and Tobacco’ and ‘Export Processing Zones’ also saw increased imports over the period. Owing to greater purchases of lard(shortening), vitamin supplements, coffee, and other food items, ‘Food and Live Animals’ went up by $6.3 million, from $178.7 million in 2017 to a little over $185 million in 2018. Larger purchases of fertilizers and herbicides during the period resulted in an almost $3 million rise in importation of ‘Chemical Products’, from $146.5 million to $149.5 million. For the ten-month period, a spike in imports of liquor prompted noticeable growth in the ‘Beverages and Tobacco’ category, from $29.2 million to $31.1 million, while increased purchases of parts for food processing and filtering machines, along with temperature-altering equipment drove imports into the ‘Export Processing Zones’ up by $1.9 million, from $31.4 million in 2017 to $33.3 million in 2018.

On the other hand, the categories of ‘Other Manufactures’ and ‘Crude Materials’ saw the only notable decreases for the period. Reduced imports of laboratory plastics, prefabricated steel buildings and gaming machines led to a drop in the category of ‘Other Manufactures’, from just above $136 million to $126.3 million, while imports of ‘Crude Materials’ fell by $5.3 million, from $29.5 million to $24.2 million, due to fewer purchases of grass seeds, asphalt and pine lumber.


OCTOBER 2018: Total domestic exports for October 2018 amounted to $35.2 million, down 5.1 percent or $1.9 million when compared to exports for October 2017, which were valued at $37.1 million.

A steep decline in exports of sugar was the primary contributor to the fall in overall earnings for the month, as sales for that commodity plunged from $9.4 million in October 2017 to $2.2 million in October 2018. Export revenues from citrus products and bananas, however, remained nearly unchanged during the tenth month of the year, with earnings from citrus exports amounting to $3.1 million and revenues from bananas summing to $8.9 million in October of 2018.

In contrast, exports of marine products grew markedly by nearly one-third or $1.4 million, from $4.4 million to $5.8 million, which was driven for the most part by strong sales of conch during the month. Similarly, earnings from crude petroleum rose by over 39 percent, from $6.3 million in October 2017 to $8.7 million in October 2018, despite there being very little change in exported volumes, as a result of favorable world market prices for that commodity. Furthermore, red kidney beans, though not classified as a major export, saw a sharp increase in earnings for the month, from $0.1 million during last October to $1.2 million in October of this year.

Due the sizeable decline in sugar exports for the month, earnings from the United Kingdom fell considerably, by 40.1 percent from $11.4 million to $6.8 million, while revenues from the United States of America slumped by 44.2 percent, from $9.6 million to $5.4 million. Export earnings from CARICOM, however, grew by 37.2 percent or nearly $4 million, from $10.6 million to $14.6 million, due to boosted returns from crude petroleum exports to that region.

FIRST TEN MONTHS OF THE YEAR: Merchandise exports for the period January to October 2018 totaled $355.1 million, down 14 percent or $57.9 million from the same period last year.

A substantial drop in earnings from sugar was the principal reason for the downturn in export revenues for the period. While exported volumes of sugar were virtually unchanged, earnings from that major export plummeted by almost 26 percent or $38.3 million, from $147.7 million in 2017 to $109.4 million in 2018, as a result of reduced prices, particularly on the European market. Exports of citrus products and bananas also fell notably over the ten-month period. Owing largely to diminished sales of orange oil and orange concentrate, earnings from citrus exports declined by 10.5 percent during the period, from $75.2 million to $67.3 million, while revenues from bananas shrank by 7.4 percent, from $70.5 million to $65.2 million. Exports of marine products, on the other hand, grew slightly, as improved sales of both conch and lobster tails effectively offset decreased shrimp earnings over the period, resulting in a total of $31.9 million in export revenues from marine products. Crude petroleum exports experienced a $1.9 million increase in earnings, growing from $22.7 million in 2017 to $24.6 million in 2018, despite a considerable 25.2 percent drop in exported volumes, as prices for that product remained favourable over the period.

Click here for the whole report!

3rd Quarter 2018 Gross National Product


For the three months of July to September 2018, the total level of economic activity in the country of Belize increased by 3.3 percent in comparison to the same three months of 2017. The Statistical Institute of Belize estimates that the total value of goods and services produced within the country during this period was $670.9 million, an increase of $21.2 million from $649.7 million produced in the third quarter of 2017 (see Figure 1).

The primary and tertiary sectors experienced growth rates of 6.3 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively. The secondary sector, on the other hand, contracted by 2.6 percent during the quarter (see Figure 2).

PRIMARY ACTIVITIES: The primary sector, which accounts for about one tenth of the country’s economic activity, grew by 6.3 percent when compared to the same period of last year. Increased market demand resulted in a 9.1 percent increase in the livestock industry, with cattle production growing by 32.3 percent and poultry production rising by 1.9 percent. In anticipation of heightened demand for local hams for the Christmas season, pig production recorded an increase of 43.2 percent compared to the third quarter of 2017 (see Figure 3). Although the fishing industry continues to struggle towards recovery, marine exports recorded an increase of 43.6 percent in comparison to the same three months of last year, largely due to a growth in shrimp exports. The effect of these increases were only slightly dampened by a 0.3 percent decline in banana production, from 25 thousand metric tons in the third quarter of 2017 to 24.9 thousand metric tons during the third quarter of 2018, due mainly to adverse weather conditions.

SECONDARY ACTIVITIES: The secondary sector, which makes up about one-fifth of Belize’s economy, declined by 2.6 percent during the second quarter of 2018, as some major industries experienced decreases in production. Reduced output of both petroleum and flour resulted in a 3.3 percent drop in the “Manufacturing & Mining” sector. “Electricity & Water” activities declined by 1.1 percent, with electricity generation down by 1.4 percent, due to insufficient rainfall in the Vaca reserve area (see Figure 4), and water generation rising only marginally by 0.1 percent. Construction activities experienced a decrease of 4.7 percent compared to the third quarter of 2017, as work in some municipalities slowed down, while beverage production grew by 4.1 percent, mainly in response to an increase in market demand.

TERTIARY ACTIVITIES: The services sector, which accounts for more than half of the country’s total economy, grew by 3.7 percent during the third quarter of 2018 when compared to the same period of 2017. The “Hotels and Restaurants” subsector grew by 17.2 percent, due primarily to a 15.3 percent increase in overnight visitors for the period. As the number of direct flights to Belize increased, the number of visitors from the United States of America rose by 16.2 percent, while tourists from Europe were up 22.7 percent, and Canadian visitors increased by, 56.7 percent. The number of cruise visitors also recorded substantial growth of 55.5 percent, as there were 27 more cruise ship calls during the quarter than in the same three-month period in 2017 (see Figure 5). “Wholesale and Retail Trade” recorded an increase of 7.0 percent, as evidenced by an expansion in merchandise imports, while “Government Services” rose by 1.2 percent during the quarter.

Click here for the whole report!

You may download the entire series for both External Trade and CPI in Excel format from the Statistical Institute of Belize website: (

Re: October 2018 External Trade & CPI, 3rd Quarter GDP [Re: Marty] #533504
11/29/18 05:59 AM
11/29/18 05:59 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 64,816
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Tourism: The Shining Light in Quarterly SIB Report

Today the Statistical Institute of Belize held it's press conference on the 3rd Quarter GDP estimates. The Statisticians presented on a number of areas including consumer index, inflation rates and trade. The SIB Deputy Director Diana Castillo - Trejo gave us an overview of Belize's performance in these areas.

And while tourism is a major boost for the economy, on the ground, Belizeans are feeling the pinch when it comes to cost of living. Trejo explained.

Channel 7

A Look at Belize’s Third Quarter Economic Performance

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