Statistics Netherlands announced today that inflation has fallen on the three islands collectively referred to as Caribbean Netherlands. The rate on Bonaire fell from 1.5 to 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, mainly as a result of price developments for clothes and petrol. On St Eustatius, the rate dropped even more rapidly from 3.4 percent in the third quarter to 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter. The sharp drop was predominantly caused by lower electricity prices and price developments for airline tickets. On the island of Saba, price developments for food products pushed the rate down from 2.6 to 2.1 percent.
Lower inflation on Bonaire
The rate on Bonaire declined from 1.5 percent in the third quarter to 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter. Price developments for clothes and petrol contributed most to the decline. Clothes were more expensive than a year ago, but - on an annual basis - the price increase in the third quarter was much more substantial, resulting in a lower inflation rate in the fourth quarter. Motor fuel prices fell noticeably in the fourth quarter.
Inflation St Eustatius substantially down
Inflation on St Eustatius dropped sharply from 3.4 to 1.6 percent, i.e. the lowest rate since Statistics Netherlands started monitoring inflation on the islands. Airline ticket prices had a significant downward effect on inflation. In the fourth quarter of 2013, airline ticket prices had soared by 13 percent, but in the fourth quarter of 2014 they remained stable; the upward effect on inflation has worn off by now. Price developments for motor fuels and electricity contributed to a lower inflation rate on St Eustatius.
Inflation on Saba also down
Inflation on Saba came down from 2.6 percent in the third quarter to 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter. The lower inflation rate was predominantly due to food prices, which rose less rapidly than in the third quarter. On average, food prices were 2.8 percent up from one year previously, but - on an annual basis - the price increase in the third quarter was much larger. The cost of maintenance of residential property also had an upward effect on Saba’s inflation rate.
Annual inflation over 2014 lower on Bonaire, higher on St Eustatius and Saba
With 1.5 percent, the inflation rate on Bonaire over the entire year 2014 was marginally below the level of 1.7 percent recorded over 2013. The lower annual rate was mainly due to price developments for electricity and motor fuels. In 2013, electricity prices had risen considerably, but they declined again in 2014 relative to 2013. Although to a lesser extent, the same applied to motor fuel prices. Food prices pushed inflation up in 2014.
The inflation rate on St Eustatius averaged 2.6 percent over 2014, versus 2.3 percent in 2013. Considerably higher prices for food products had an upward effect on annual inflation in 2014. Drinking water had become much cheaper on St Eustatius in 2013, but in 2014 the price remained stable. Last year’s downward effect on inflation has worn off by now.
Just as on St Eustatius, annual inflation on Saba has risen. In 2014, the inflation rate on Saba averaged 2.0 percent, versus 1.2 percent in 2013. On Saba, too, higher food prices contributed to inflation. Inflation also rose, because electricity prices had fallen significantly in 2013, but have risen in 2014.
The status of figures referring to the fourth quarter of 2014 and the annual figures over 2014 is provisional. Final figures are calculated when figures over the first quarter of 2015 are published.
This article is also available in Papiamento.