Consumer prices increase 1.5 percent, imports up 0.4 percent and domestic exports up 19.7 percent in March 2021 | Statistical Institute of Belize

Results from the Statistical Institute of Belizeís most recent monthly Consumer Price Index (CPI) survey showed that, as of March 2021, the All-Items CPI, which summarizes all categories of goods and services, stood at 102, up from 100.5 in March 2020. The country experienced an overall national inflation rate of 1.5 percent, reflecting the fact that, on average, prices for items comprising the basket of goods and services commonly purchased by Belizean households were 1.5 percent higher than they were in March of last year. This overall change was the net effect of higher costs for food items, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), home rentals and personal care products being partially offset by lower prices for hotel accommodations and menís and womenís footwear. The year-to-date or cumulative inflation rate for the first three months of 2021, when compared to the first three months in 2020, stood at 1.3 percent.

Click the following link to read more: Consumer Price Index, March 2021

Merchandise Trade

During the month of March 2021, Belizeís imported goods were valued at $174.8 million, up by a marginal 0.4 percent or $0.7 million from the $174.1 million imported in March of 2020. Merchandise imports for the period January to March 2021 totaled $466.5 million, representing an 8 percent or $38.9 million decrease from the same period last year, when imports totaled $485.3 million.

Total domestic exports for March 2021 amounted to $33.7 million, up by 19.7 percent or $5.5 million from the $28.1 million recorded for March of 2020. Merchandise exports for the period January to March 2020 totaled $81.1 million, up 26.9 percent or $17.2 million from that same period last year, when total domestic exports were valued at $63.9 million.

Click the following link to read more: External Trade, March 2021


SIB Saw Exports Expand

In March, Belize saw a small rise in imports and a significant increase exports when compared to March of last year.

The most notable increase in imports was seen in 'Manufactured Goods' and 'Chemical Products', which together rose by more than $13 million for the month. These increases were largely offset by reduced imports within other major categories, most significantly in 'Machinery and Transport Equipment', 'Commercial Free Zones' and 'Mineral Fuels and Lubricants', which together declined by a combined $12.9 million when compared to March of last year.

Exports, on the other hand, increased by 19.7 percent or $5.5 million in March of 2021. Earnings from most major exports grew during the month, with citrus products recording the largest increase.

There were noteworthy decreases as well. Earnings from bananas fell by one-fourth or $2.2 million. Exports of red kidney beans dropped by almost 50 percent.

Inflation Increase

According to the SIB, as of March 2021, the country experienced an overall national inflation rate of 1.5 percent. That means that on average, prices for items comprising the basket of goods and services commonly purchased by Belizean households were 1.5 percent higher than they were in March of last year. With food prices trending steadily upwards since April of 2020, 'Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages' had the highest rate of inflation among the major categories.

With an inflation rate of 1.9 percent, the towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena experienced the highest increases in consumer prices for March 2021. Corozal Town recorded the lowest inflation rate of 0.8 percent, as consumers in this town experienced lower than average increases in prices for food items, pet food and restaurant services.

The cumulative inflation rate for the first three months of 2021, when compared to the first three months in 2020, stood at 1.3 percent. The most significant change was seen in the 'Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages' category, which had a cumulative inflation rate of 5.2 percent.

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