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Jan 27, 2022

Trade Up; Inflation too!

Data from the Statistical Institute of Belize shows that for December 2021, like the previous month, imports and exports were significantly higher— but so was the cost of living. News Five’s Marion Ali takes a look at how the economy performed for that month in this report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

According to the SIB, in its latest press release on Belize’s economy, imports in December 2021 grew by fifty-seven point four percent, or by eighty-three point seven million dollars; while exports shot up even higher, by a whopping seventy-four point eight percent or by a hundred and forty-five point nine million dollars over the same month in 2020. Belize’s total imports for last month stood at two hundred and twenty-nine point six million dollars.


SIB reported on Wednesday that revenues from the Machinery and Transport Equipment Imports of ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ category for the month almost doubled, rising from twenty-six million to forty-eight point three million dollars or by as much as twenty-two point three million dollars, when comparing the two periods. SIB attributed the sharp rise to increased imports of heavy duty mobile equipment.


In the exports category, our total domestic exports for December of 2021 stood at thirty-seven point one million dollars. That represented an increase of fifteen point nine million or seventy four point eight percent over total exports for December 2020. Crude oil exports in that month stood at seven point four million dollars. Notably, Belize did not export any petroleum in December of 2020. There were increases in revenues for marine products, sugar, and animal feed. Earnings from marine products went up by thirteen point eight million dollars for the year, and revenues for molasses increased by five million. Banana exports went up from eighty seven million in December of 2020 to ninety-one point nine million in 2021.


But while we did well in the exports category, the inflation rate or cost of living also went up generally by four point nine percent. SIB says this was largely due to higher prices for motor vehicle fuels, food items, liquefied petroleum gas, restaurant services, and household cleaning products, compared to the prices that existed for the same month of 2020.

There were price decreases, however, on some food items and fresh produce.

By municipality, Orange Walk Town recorded the highest inflation rate of seven point two percent. Benque Viejo, by contrast, recorded the lowest at a three point three percent increase.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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