Consumer prices up 0.3 percent, imports down 21.1 percent and domestic exports up 35.4 percent in September 2020

Consumer Price Index

The Statistical Institute of Belize’s latest figures on consumer prices showed that, for the month of September 2020, the national inflation rate stood at 0.3 percent. This was mainly the result of higher home rental and food costs being balanced out by substantially lower prices for fuel and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). It should be noted that price changes occurring in goods and services not normally purchased by households in Belize, but which have seen an increase in demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may not be reflected in the CPI. The cumulative inflation rate for the first nine months of 2020, when compared to the same period in 2019, stood at 0.2 percent

Click the following link to read more: Consumer Price Index, September 2020

Merchandise Trade

Belize’s total imports for the month of September 2020 were valued at $112.1 million. This was a decrease of 21.1 percent or $29.9 million from imports for September 2019, which totaled $141.9 million. Merchandise imports for the first nine months of the year, January to September 2020, amounted to $1.2 billion, representing a 19 percent or $274.7 million decrease from the same period last year when imports totaled $1.4 billion.

Total domestic exports for September 2020 amounted to $47.6 million, up considerably by 35.4 percent or $12.4 million when compared to exports for September 2019, which were valued at $35.2 million. Merchandise exports for the period January to September 2020 totaled $300.2 million, down 10.3 percent, or $34.5 million from $334.6 million during the same period last year.

Click the following link to read more: External Trade, September 2020

The Statistical Institute of Belize has released its latest figures on the economy's performance in the areas of external trade and the consumer price index. The SIB says that during the month of September Belize's imported goods were valued at 112 million dollars, which is down by 21.1% or almost 30 million dollars, when compared to September 2019's imports of 141.9 million dollars.

Most of the commodity categories saw reduced imports, but the main contributors to the overall drop are in the areas of "mineral fuels and lubricants', "commercial-free zones, 'machinery and transport equipment"

For mineral fuels and lubricants, those fell steeply by 65 percent or 12.6 million dollars. In September 2019, this category was valued at 19.3 million dollars, and in September of this year, that number is only 6.8 million dollars. The SIB says that this was largely due to the fact that there were no imports of diesel, butane, premium gas, bunker C, and kerosene fuels for September 2020.

Imports into the Commercial Free Zones fell by 44 percent or over 11 million dollars, from 25.4 million dollars in September 2019, to 14.4 million dollars in September 2020.

Merchandise and imports for the first 9 months of 2020 totaled 1.2 billion dollars. That represents a 19% decrease or 274.7 million dollars. For the first 9 months of last year, merchandise and imports totaled 1.4 billion dollars.

Domestic exports for September 2020 amounted to 47.6 million dollars, which up by 35.4% or 12.4 million dollars. Last year September, domestic exports were valued at 35.2 million dollars.

For the increasing categories, revenue from sugar rose by 5.3 million dollars from 19.5 million in last year September, to 24.6 million last month. The quantities of sugar exported grew by 21% in September of this year, when compared to last year.

Citrus also went up by 3.1 million dollars. Last year, September it was 2.5 million dollars, and this year September, it was 5.6 million. SIB says that the increase is mostly due to heightened sales of orange concentrate. The quantities of this commodity more than doubled when comparing September of this year to September of last year.

SIB says despite the strong performance from the countries exports for September 2020, the figures for January to September of this year are down by 10.3% when compared to the same time period last year.

Channel 5