In the second quarter of 2020, consumer goods and services were cheaper on Saba, by 1.3 percent than one year previously. Prices also decreased on St Eustatius and Bonaire by 1.1 percent and 1.4 percent year-on-year respectively. This is reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of the consumer price index for the Caribbean Netherlands.
The price decreases are mainly attributable to the allowances for electricity, drinking water, and the internet, which have been provided by the government as of 1 May 2020. As a result, the fixed usage tariffs for electricity and drinking water amount to 0 US dollars and fixed internet subscribers receive a monthly discount of 25 US dollars. Although figures over Q2 also include the old tariffs from April, the effect of the allowances is clearly reflected in the figures.
Consumer price decrease lowest on Saba
In Q2 2020, consumers on Saba paid on average 1.1 percent less for goods and services relative to one year previously. Here, the government measures resulted in a price decrease of 16.8 percent on average for electricity and a 12.6-percent drop in prices of telecommunications in Q2 relative to Q1 2020.
Clothing and footwear were more than 7 percent cheaper than in the previous quarter.
On Bonaire, the average price level declined by 1.4 percent relative to Q2 2019.
Due to the government measures, prices for telecommunications dropped by 19.4 percent on average relative to Q1 2020. In Q2 2020, electricity was 11.7 percent cheaper and water 11.2 percent cheaper than in the previous quarter.
Prices on St Eustatius down by 1.3 percent
In Q2 2020, consumer prices on St Eustatius were 1.3 percent lower than one year previously. As a result of the government measures, the price of telecommunications fell by an average 17.6 percent in Q2 relative to Q1 2020. The price of electricity fell by 7.0 percent and water became 6.7 percent cheaper on average in the second quarter. Furthermore, the price of petrol dropped by 13.0 percent relative to Q1.
Prices of clothing and footwear fell by 8 percent on average relative to the previous quarter.
Impact of the corona crisis on compiling the consumer price index (CPI)
Due to the government measures, the availability of many services was limited during parts of the second quarter of 2020. As a result, prices could not always be observed for some products. On Saba, in-store price observation was not possible during the month of April due to of the shelter in place. CBS chose an appropriate estimation method for these products. The memo included to this press release explains the decisions that were made.
Figures referring to Q2 2020 are provisional and will become definitive upon publication of the figures over Q3 2020.
StatLine: Caribbean Netherlands; consumer price index