Prices up on BES islands

Price development graphic.

Example of more expensive goods.

BONAIRE–During the First Quarter of 2018 consumers in Bonaire paid 3.8 per cent more for goods and services than a year before. The increase had been much lower in the previous quarter, namely 1.2 per cent. Prices also rose year-on-year by 2.9 per cent on Saba and 2.0 per cent on St. Eustatius, reported the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

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The rise in average price levels on Bonaire is mainly caused by higher energy and food cost. Electricity went up as of January 1, 2018, and is now nearly 24 per cent more expensive than the same period in 2017. The current price level is the highest since CBS started publishing the Caribbean Netherlands CPI in 2010.

A price hike was also seen in food products such as fresh fruit and vegetables: up by 17 and 12 per cent respectively. Some of these were brought in by Venezuelan boats before the border closure of January 5, forcing the island to expand its imports via other channels.

In the first three months of 2018 consumers on St. Eustatius paid an average 2.0 per cent more for goods and services than a year before. The increase had been 1.8 per cent in the Fourth Quarter of 2017.

Many products became slightly more expensive, but not all Statia’s prices went up. Electricity rates were down 10 per cent year-on year.

In the First Quarter of 2018, Saba’s prices of goods and services were up an average 2.9 per cent year-on-year, versus 2.5 per cent in the Fourth Quarter of 2017. Just like on Statia, the increase was caused by price developments of a wide range of product groups.

Food, clothes and household appliances, among others, went up in price compared to a year ago. Cheese, for example, is currently almost 19 per cent more expensive, while soup even went up by 35 per cent.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/76109-prices-up-on-bes-islands

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