Price level measurement Caribbean Netherlands 2015 - brief survey description

What does the study entail?


The one-off publication on the relative price levels of consumptive expenditure in Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba (the Caribbean Netherlands). It concerns the price levels of a representative basket of consumer goods and services.

Target population

Consumer goods and services which are purchased by households within the Caribbean Netherlands.

Statistical unit

Consumer goods and services.

Start of study

March 2015.


Once only.

Publication strategy

The publication includes final figures.

How is the study performed?

Type of study

The study is based on price monitoring at businesses and institutions that provide goods and services to consumers in the period May-September 2015.

Monitoring method

Many of the prices were recorded by interviewing companies. In addition, Statistics Netherlands used written and telephone surveys, Internet monitoring, external registrations and consultation of brochures.

Within the Caribbean Netherlands some of the consumer goods and services are not available. To purchase them, consumers go to Curacao, St Maarten or another country (whether or not via the Internet). Prices of these products were not observed, but their expenditure shares were included in the calculation. It was assumed that the product was purchased in another country and that there are no price differences for the various islands of the Caribbean Netherlands. Differences in shipping costs are not reflected in a price difference for the product in question, but are incorporated in the prices of mail and parcel services.

Housing costs (home ownership and rentals) were not included in the calculation.


Businesses, institutions and authorities.

Sample size

Prices of 788 different products, subdivided into 86 commodity groups, were observed on the three islands.

Checking and correction methods

Statistics Netherlands checked the provided data for completeness and plausibility. Data which may be incorrect or incomplete were subject to further investigation.


In order to determine the price level for each island, prices of consumer goods and services were given a weight that reflects the consumption pattern per island. The used weighting method was based on the weighting schemes of the consumer price index for Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba and on the 2013 budget study for Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba.

What is the quality of the results?


The accuracy and representativeness of the relative price levels are safeguarded by the number and diversity of the goods and services that were monitored at the various sales channels on the islands, by spreading out the price monitoring over a prolonged period of time and by the calculation method applied. The used method is the method that is applied internationally to determine purchasing power parities.

However, it is impossible to calculate the degree of accuracy. In general, the accuracy of the price level per product group is lower than the accuracy of the price level of the total consumption basket.

Inaccuracy can arise at various stages within the production process:

  • the spot check performed by the respondents;
  • the choice of representative products and the comparability of products;
  • errors in price monitoring; 
  • determination of the weighting factors;
  • non-response.

Comparability over time

A price level measurement is a one-off study. In 2015, this study was conducted for the second time. It was first performed in 2010. The relative price levels are comparable per period. For the developments of prices on a single island, a price level measurement is not a suitable tool. In that case, the consumer price index should be used.

Quality strategy description

The data were checked for internal consistency and completeness. Where necessary, action was taken to verify data. Price levels were calculated based on the approved data and the results were verified and validated. To ensure the independence of the validation, it was performed by other employees than those who carried out the calculations.