Orange Walk Town is once again the municipality with the highest inflation rate in the country: 9.1%. The lowest inflation rate—5.7%—was seen in Belmopan.
by Khaila Gentle
BELIZE CITY, Wed. Sept. 28, 2022
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) report on Belize’s consumer price index for the month of August is indicating a national inflation rate of 7.4%—a 0.7% increase from last month. Unsurprisingly, the main drivers of the inflation rate were increases in the cost of fuel, transportation services, and food.
According to the SIB, price changes in the “Transport” category remained the single greatest contributor to the overall national inflation rate, as half of the increase in consumer prices in August was seen in that category of goods and services. The cost of premium gasoline alone was more than fifty percent higher than premium gas prices last year, having registered an increase of $5.91. The prices of diesel and regular gas rose by $2.76 and $2.32, respectively.
The prices of items in the “food and non-alcoholic beverages” category have also been steadily increasing since January 2022. Wednesday’s report revealed that in August there was the highest recorded rate of increase in prices of items in that category since the start of the year—an inflation rate of 8.2% when compared to August 2021. The cost of basic food items, such as cereal products, dairy, meats and fresh produce all saw notable increases for the month. Lower prices were recorded, however, for items such as oranges, beans, and cabbages.
Higher prices at restaurants and cafes contributed to an inflation rate of 5.8% in the category of “Restaurants and Accommodation Services” and an increase in cinema entrance fees and pet food prices contributed to the “Recreation, Sport, and Culture” inflation rate of 7.6%.
Over the past few months, the town of Orange Walk has had the highest inflation rate of all municipalities in the country, and the month of August was no different. This time, the town’s inflation rate of 9.1% was considerably higher than the national average. Consumers in the northern town saw increases in taxi fares, construction materials for household use, restaurant services, food items, and more.
Belmopan, on the other hand, recorded the lowest inflation rate of all the municipalities, at 5.7%.