The low inflation rate in the Caribbean Netherlands in Q1 2021 is mainly attributable to the allowances for electricity, drinking water and internet, which have been provided by the government as of 1 May 2020. As of January 2021, an additional subsidy on internet subscriptions is provided to the amount of 20 US dollars on St Eustatius and 10 US dollars on Saba.
Throughout Q1 2021 as well, the coronavirus crisis had an impact on how the Consumer Price Index (CPI) was compiled for the Caribbean Netherlands. Especially the lockdown on Bonaire in March resulted in substantially fewer in-store price observations that month.
|Jaar||Kwartaal||Bonaire (year-on-year % change)||St Eustatius (year-on-year % change)||Saba (year-on-year % change)|
The low inflation rate on Bonaire is mainly due to the reductions in the fixed usage tariffs for electricity and water on Bonaire as of 1 May 2020. In Q1 2021, electricity was 14.3 percent and water 16.0 percent cheaper than one year previously.
Relative to the previous quarter, in Q1 prices on Bonaire rose by an average of 1 percent. This was mainly caused by higher variable usage tariffs for electricity and water. Although the variable tariffs increased quarter-on-quarter in Q1, the total rate (the sum of fixed and variable tariff) remained below the level of one year previously.
Average food prices remained fairly stable in Q1 relative to the previous quarter. Prices of poultry fell by nearly 3 percent, while fresh fruit prices rose by 1.5 percent. In addition, women’s clothing became 4.6 percent more expensive.
Prices on St Eustatius declined on the previous quarter
In Q1 2021, consumer prices on St Eustatius were 4.1 percent lower than one year previously. Prices fell by 3.2 percent year-on-year in the previous quarter.
Consumers paid 0.6 percent less for goods and services in Q1 compared to the previous quarter.
The costs of communication fell by 16.2 percent. The variable usage tariffs for electricity were up by more than 10 percent on the final quarter of 2020. Petrol and diesel prices rose as well, by 1.7 and 3.9 percent respectively.
Prices on Saba down relative to the previous quarter
On Saba, consumers paid 1.3 percent less on average in Q1 2021 than in Q1 of last year. In Q4 2020, the inflation rate still amounted to -0.8 percent.
In Q1, goods and services were 0.2 percent cheaper than in the previous quarter. Communication costs were down by 4.8 percent. Food and toiletries went down in price, while the variable usage tariffs for electricity increased by over 26 percent relative to the final quarter of 2020.
Figures referring to Q1 2021 are provisional and will be definitive upon publication of the figures over Q2 2021.
A Papiamentu translation of this news release can be obtained from Statistics Netherlands’ office on Bonaire by sending a request via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org