GDP revisions on Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba

National accounts are revised periodically. New sources, methods and concepts are implemented to ensure that the picture of the Dutch economy is again optimally aligned with all the underlying statistics, sources and international guidelines on the compilation of the national accounts.

This is the first time that CBS - since the start of GDP measurements in the Caribbean Netherlands in 2014 (for reporting year 2012) - has carried out GDP revisions. There are three reasons why CBS has carried out revisions this year:

  • During the course of this year, a greatly improved business register has become available which includes all enterprises that carry out economic activities on the islands. The register contains e.g. the sector (SBI 2008, an international standard classification of economic activities) and the number of persons employed per company.
  • Collaboration with the Caribbean Dutch tax authorities has been intensified in recent years, which has improved access to the financial data of local enterprises.
  • The sampling and upward revision method has been improved this year.

The revision has been carried out for reporting year 2017. This means that a new GDP level has been set for all three islands for 2017. Subsequently, changes in the value and the volume of GDP prior to revision were used to calculate new GDP values in both current and 2017 prices for the years 2012 through 2016.

For Bonaire and St Eustatius, the revision has led to a substantial upward revision of GDP in 2017: by 52 million and 34 million US dollars, respectively. The adjustment on Saba amounts to 1 million US dollars.

Revision of GDP in the Caribbean Netherlands, 2017
EilandGDP before revision (million US dollars)GDP after revision (million US dollars)Adjustment (million US dollars)
St Eustatius10814234

The reason for the major GDP revisions for 2017 is that the GDP was calculated in a completely different way before revision. In 2012, CBS determined the level of GDP for all three islands based on the sources available at that time. In the following years (2013-2017), GDP was calculated by putting the developments from the sources at the level of the GDP of the previous year. However, as the sources have improved significantly over the past six years, the level of GDP increasingly deviated from the sources. After the revision of GDP for 2017, GDP has been re-aligned with the levels of the sources.