Sharp increase in consumer prices on Bonaire

25/04/2018 15:30
© Cees Timmers
In Q1 2018, consumers on Bonaire paid 3.8 percent more for goods and services than one year previously. The increase was much lower in the previous quarter, namely 1.2 percent. Prices rose year-on-year by 2.9 percent on Saba and by 2.0 percent on St Eustatius. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of the consumer price index (CPI).

The increase in the average price level for goods and services on Bonaire is mainly caused by higher electricity and food prices. Electricity went up in price as of 1 January 2018 and is now nearly 24 percent more expensive than one year ago. The current price level is the highest since CBS started publishing the consumer price index in 2010.

A price increase was also seen in food products such as fresh fruit and fresh vegetables: up by 17 and 12 percent respectively in Q1 year-on-year. These food items were imported from Venezuela, for example. As of 5 January 2018, Venezuela closed its border with Bonaire, forcing the island to increase food imports via other channels.

Consumer prices on St Eustatius 2.0 percent up

In Q1 2018, consumers on St Eustatius paid on average 2.0 percent more for goods and services relative to one year previously. The year-on-year price increase was still 1.8 percent in Q4 2017. Many products became slightly more expensive, but not all Statian prices went up. Electricity prices were 10 percent down year-on year.

Prices up on Saba as well

In Q1 2018, Saban prices of goods and services were on average 2.9 percent up year-on-year, versus 2.5 percent in Q4 2017. Just like on St Eustatius, the price increase is caused by price developments of a wide range of product groups. Food, clothes and household appliances, among others, went up in price compared to one year ago. Cheese, for example, is currently almost 19 percent more expensive; soup went up by 35 percent.

Effective today, CBS publishes the consumer price index for the Caribbean Netherlands based on the series 2017=100. This has consequences for the way the index is used. These changes are explained in more detail in ‘New reference year for the Caribbean Netherlands consumer price index’.

Provisional figures

Figures referring to Q1 2018 are provisional and will be definite upon publication of the figures over Q2 2018.

Papiamentu

A Papiamentu translation of this news release can be obtained from Statistics Netherlands’ office on Bonaire by sending a request via email to: caribischnederland@cbs.nl