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Jan 31, 2018

Trade Deficit Tightens but Prices Go Up

The Statistical Institute of Belize report for December shows both imports and exports down.  Belize imported goods valued at one hundred and sixty-seven million dollars or zero point nine percent down when compared to imports in December 2016.  According to the S.I.B., this drop in imports resulted from reduced purchases of light fixtures, plastic lab items, metal office furniture, as well as decline in purchase of fertilizers and medicines, cigarettes, handbags, and importation of beer, sodas and vodka for the Free Zone. For the entire year of 2017, imports amounted to one point eight billion dollars, which is a four point one or seventy-nine million dollar decrease over 2016.  As it relates to exports for last December, the decrease was by twelve point five percent. The total was fifteen point seven million dollars or two point two million dollars less than December 2016. Marine products experienced the biggest decline of all major products dropping by two point five million dollars. Exportation of bananas, on the other hand, grew by over a million dollars. The SIB also released the consumer price index for December and if you felt that prices seemed a little higher than usual for some items, you may be right. According to the bulletin, prices were up by one percent in December 2017. Food, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages showed marginal increase in prices as did food items.  In transportation, premium gasoline, regular gasoline and diesel all went up for the month of December as did the cost of LPG.

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