General — 28 July 2018
Cost of living rising

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. July 26, 2018– The Belize Institute of Statistics’ (BIS) monthly consumer price index survey, for June 2018, showed that, “on average, Belizean households experienced a 0.6 percent increase in the cost of regularly purchased goods and services when compared to the same month last year.” BIS says that the greatest factor in the increase was transportation costs, which were up 4.5% over June last year. Transportation costs went up largely because of the increase of the cost of fuel. The price of regular gasoline was up 14.4% over June last year, the price of premium gasoline was up 10.5%, and diesel costs were up 20.6%.

The cost of food and non-alcoholic beverages decreased marginally, down 0.4%, mainly “due to decreases in the average prices of several meat products, including beef steak, pork chops and pigtail.” The decrease in the cost of these products offset increases in the cost of red kidney beans, which went up 13.4 percent per pound, and potatoes, which saw a 15 percent increase in the price per pound.

The cost for renting a house went down 0.4% in June 2018, when compared with June 2017, but the cost of liquefied petroleum gas increased 14.7%. BIS says that “doctor’s consultation fees, entrance fees to sporting events and facilities, and motor vehicle insurance premiums were all up when compared to June last year.”

An increase in the cost of food in Orange Walk Town caused that municipality to record the highest inflation rate, 2.2%, for two consecutive months, while lowered costs for home rental in June 2018 helped Dangriga to record a “1.8% decrease in the prices of goods and services.”

The BIS survey of average prices of selected foods showed the price of beef steak falling to $7.86 per pound in June 2018, from $8.10 per pound in 2017; the price of pork chops dipping to $6.89 per pound in 2018, from $7.09 per pound in 2017; pigtail prices falling to $4.25 per pound in 2018, from $4.41 per pound in 2017; cabbage prices rising to $1.19 per pound in 2018, up from $1.14 in 2017; the price of eggs (per dozen) going up to $3.20, from $3.10 in 2017; and the price of watermelons rising to $0.65 per pound in 2018, up from $0.60 per pound in 2017.

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Deshawn Swasey

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