Weekend News

Cost of living still on the rise

By Benjamin Flowers

For ten straight months the cost of living in Belize has been higher than it was last year, according to the latest Consumer Price Index from the Statistical Institute of Belize.

The SIB released the data on Wednesday showing that that from January to October, Belizeans have been paying an average of 1.2 percent more for goods and services. By month, the inflation rate has consistently been above what it was last year for each individual month.

The October inflation rate stood at 0.9 percent, sent up by the high cost of fuel. Consistently rising gas prices caused a 7.8 percent increase in the Transport index, the single highest increase in that category.year. The price per gallon of Premium gasoline rose by 18 percent from $10.13 in
October 2016 to $11.95 in October 2017, while Regular gasoline rose 11.9 percent from $9.32 per gallon to $10.44 per gallon, and the price per gallon of Diesel was up 13.2 percent from $8.53 to $9.65.

Those prices have since changed; however, premium fuel remains above $11. The ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels’ category went up by 0.9 percent, due to increases in home rental prices and the price per 100 lb cylinder of butane.

Belizeans did receive some reprive with price decreases in some food items, causing an overall decrease of 0.8 percent in the “Food and Non Alcoholic Beverages” category. Belizeans on average paid less for items such as ground beef, beef steak, pig tail, and whole chicken, along with other food items such as eggs and milk.

By municipality, Dangriga had the highest rate of inflation in the country, 2.4 percent, while Orange Walk Town had the lowest, -0.3 percent.
cost of living

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