Economic contraction on Bonaire and Saba in 2017

In 2017, the volume of gross domestic product (GDP) declined on Bonaire and Saba, by 1.3 and 1.4 percent respectively. On St Eustatius, GDP rose by 6.6 percent. Statistics Netherlands (CBS) reports this based on newly released figures.

The GDP volume change is the development of GDP value, adjusted for price changes. For price adjustments, the consumer price index was used.

In 2017, Bonaire’s GDP value fell by 1.4 percent to 428 million US dollars, while St Eustatius saw an increase of 8.6 percent to 108 million US dollars. On Saba, GDP dropped by 1.8 percent to 47 million US dollars.

Substantial GDP growth on St Eustatius

Statia’s GDP is largely determined by a limited number of companies which realised strong growth in 2017. Growth was slightly hampered by the effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria, which moved along the Windward Islands in September of this year. As a result, the number of tourists visiting the island by air dropped by nearly 5 percent relative to 2016.

Gross domestic product
JaarBonaire (year-on-year % change)St Eustatius (year-on-year % change)Saba (year-on-year % change)

GDP development on Bonaire by industry

Bonaire’s drop in GDP volume in 2017 was largely attributable to the industry cluster trade, transport, storage, information and communication, and amounted to 15.5 percent. This cluster was affected by the poor economic conditions in neighbouring country Venezuela.

The value added in the cluster agriculture and manufacturing improved the most. Manufacturing includes companies active in mining and quarrying, industry, energy, water and waste management, and construction. The volume realised in this cluster grew by 6.2 percent. Growth within this cluster was widely supported.

The cluster accommodation and food services, culture, recreation, sports and other services saw an increase in volume of 3.8 percent. Although the number of tourists travelling to Bonaire by air dropped by over 5 percent in 2017, cruise tourism increased by no less than 88 percent to 407 thousand passengers. Cruise tourists mainly contribute to spending in the culture, sports and recreation industry.

The volume in the cluster public administration, education and care rose by 2.7 percent. Public administration and care recorded an increase, while education saw a slight drop. With respect to public administration, expenditure was up in both the Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland (RCN) and the Public Entity.

Bonaire's value added by industry (volume), 2017
BedrijfstakValue added (year-on-year % change)
Agriculture and manufacturing6.2
Trade, transport, storage, information and communication-15.5
Accommodation and food services, culture, sports, recreation and other services3.8
Financial services, real estate activities and business services-0.8
Public administration, education and care2.7

The cluster trade, transport, storage, information and communication made the largest negative contribution to Bonaire’s GDP development: -3.0 percentage points. At 0.9 percentage point, the largest positive contribution came from the cluster agriculture and manufacturing.

Contribution to development of Bonaire's GDP, 2017
BedrijfstakkenContribution to GDP development (contribution to growth in percentage points)
Trade, transport, storage, information and communication-3.0
Financial services, real estate activities and business services-0.3
Product-related taxes minus subsidies0.1
Public administration, education and care0.5
Accommodation and food services, culture, sports, recreation and other services0.5
Agriculture and manufacturing0.9