Yesterday, we told you about a report from the IMF, which says that inflation was at 4.9 percent in 2021 and is projected at 5.2 for 2022. The IMF attributes the high inflation to the War in Ukraine, and the related economic sanctions, which are driving up the cost of global energy and food.

One of the commodities most affected by the war is wheat, and Belizeans are already starting to see the price of flour increase. That means a higher cost of living, and on Saturday, the press asked the Prime Minister about his government's monitoring of the situation:

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister
"The issue of inflation is something that's plaguing every single country in the world, including the most powerful and richest nation in the world, which is the United States of America. If you look at their inflation rate, it was at about 5%."

"So, it's no comfort to Belizeans, but it's important. I believe that generally, Belizeans understand that a lot of what we're facing is out of our control. It is not in our hands. Even in agriculture, when we grow our own fruit and our vegetables, the cost continues to go up because of the inputs we use, the fertilizers, the insecticides, the seeds, and the fuel. All of that is brought in from outside, and the cost of that continues to grow. So Belizeans understand that this is not something that is being done by our government. But also, Belizeans have seen as best as we possibly can to hold it down as best as we possibly can. For instance, we have supplies control that is actively visiting shops, and when they see a case of price gouging, they give them tickets and take them to court. We're asking consumers to be able to send in their WhatsApp pictures where they see instances of price gouging. We've been trying to play a little bit with the taxes. The biggest example is the fuel where we're setting up a fund in the Central Bank whereby we can try to hold down the price of diesel, for instance, is still too high at 13 dollars, a little over 13 dollars. But as it is, we have removed more than a dollar in taxes, and that has a direct impact on the finances of the Government."

Channel 7