Price of Beans and January Inflation spike - 02/27/14 09:54 AM
Earlier on, you saw the Statistical Institute of Belize outline the figures for Belize's fourth quarter GDP. But that's not all the SIB has in the numbers bag today. They also unleashed the latest inflation statistics for January. It was high, and we found out why:
Jules Vasquez Reporting
Prices have been trending up from August of last year.
Glen Avilez, Director SIB
"In January, prices were roughly 1.8% higher than they were in the same month of last year."
Transportation and food prices were up the most - food by as much as 4% and transportation by 5%.
"Food was heavily influenced by fresh vegetables being significantly up in that month, when compared to the same month of 2013."
Actually it's not only beans, tomatoes were up by more than 100%, from 1.55 a pound to $3.45 per pound, sweet pepper went up to 6 dollars a pound, and what would we do without beans? Well, a lot of folks found out when that went up to over three dollars a pound.
Maria Cowo has been a vendor for 18 years and she says the rains caused the prices to go up:
Maria Cowo - Michael Finnegan Market Vendor
"Most the problem is the weather. With the cold and the rain, made it get spoilt, so that's why it went up. But now, it went down because the weather changed."
Cowo told us about the items that have gone down most:
"Well, right now, the cabbage went up to $2, but now it went down to $1.50 a pound. Onion went up to $2.50. Most of the tomatoes and sweet pepper were at $6. Tomato was at $3, but it went down to $1.50 for tomato, and sweet pepper $2. When the beans get scarce, it goes up, but like right now, we're getting the fresh beans. Now, it went down to $2. It was at $3."
The highest inflation rate was recorded in Belmopan at 2.7% and Corozal at 2.5%. The lowest was Orange Walk town at 1.2%.
The SIB which is taking a much higher public profile, will have its next press conference in May.