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Aug 28, 2015

Cost of Living Decreases By 1%

More Creole women are gainfully employed than Creole men. Unemployment figures improved slightly and the cost of living is down marginally when compared to the same period last year. Those are the stats provided by the Statistical Institute of Belize. But did you know that twenty-five percent of every hundred dollars is spent on accommodation and utilities? News Five’s Isani Cayetano delves deeper into the SIB figures and has some interesting facts.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The Consumer Price Index for the month of July indicates that out of every hundred dollars spent, the average Belizean household expends an estimated twenty-six dollars on accommodations and utilities.  These combined costs are the highest domestic expenses followed by food and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as transportation.  While Belize remains an ideal tourism destination, it is apparent that Belizeans are not spending as much on restaurants and hotels.  In fact, of every blue note spent only a dollar goes towards the hospitality industry.  The inflation rate for July stood at minus one percent.

 

Angelita Campbell

Angelita Campbell, Statistician, SIB

“If you were to purchase a basket of goods last year on an average of a hundred dollars, this year July they would cost roughly ninety-nine dollars.  Now we’re not saying that every single item in that basket of good decreased by one percent.  What we’re saying is on average the price went down by one percent. We have the Food Index, as stated before, decreasing by zero point five percent within that index.  We have meat category going up by three point three percent and this is reflected in the price of beef and pork.  We also have the egg category going up by seventeen point six percent and that is reflected in a dozen egg costing three dollars and twenty-five cents last year to three dollars and seventy-five cents on average this year.  However, we had the vegetable category decreasing by eleven point four percent and this category is moving mainly by the price in red kidney beans, decreasing from two dollars and thirty-three last year to one dollar and forty-one cents on average this year.”

 

By comparison, fuel prices were down by a few dollars in July of this year than they were for the same period in 2014.  At the pump, consumers are paying two dollars and eighty-eight cents less per gallon of premium.  Regular is down to nine dollars and fifty-eight cents per gallon, while the cost per gallon of diesel decreased to seven dollars and fifty-six cents.

 

Angelita Campbell

“Last year July recorded the highest price of fuel.  Coming to this year, July recorded the second highest in fuel prices since the start of the year.  But if you look, let me see, fuel prices decreasing by roughly two to three dollars in comparison to last year same period. The transport index decreasing by seven point one percent and within this category we have the fuel and lubricant category pushing this index, decreasing by fourteen percent.”

 

Of all nine municipalities, Dangriga had the highest increase in the supply of currency or credit relative to the availability of goods and services, resulting in higher prices and a decrease in the purchasing power of the dollar.

 

Angelita Campbell

“If you look closely you’ll see Dangriga recording the highest inflation rate of one point eight percent and this is as a result of the highest increase in rent prices.  We look closer at Belmopan, recording the lowest inflation rate of two point one percent, a minus two point one percent, sorry.  This is a reflection of the lowest increase in the rental prices.  Now we look at the inflation rate by region.  Within the region we have Honduras recording the highest inflation rate of three point two percent, while El Salvador recording the lowest inflation rate of one point five percent and Belize in the middle there at minus one percent.  We have Jamaica on the other side at three point eight percent increase and Mexico at two point seven percent increase.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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