St. Maarten Prices of basic goods continue showing increases

POSTED: 06/9/11 12:11 PM

St. Maarten – The consumer price index for St. Maarten has increased in the month of April 2011 (117.7) by 2.0 percent compared to that of February 2011 (115.7). When comparing average consumer prices over a twelve month period (Apr. 2010 to Apr. 2011), it can be noted that an increase of 2.5 percent was recorded compared to the same period one year earlier. This is evident from the data that has been released by the Department of Statistics (STAT) Wednesday.

Expenditure Categories

All nine expenditure categories became more expensive in April 2011: Food (+2.4%), Beverages and Tobacco (+1.8%), Clothing and Footwear (+0.2%), Housing (+3.1%), Household Furnishing & Appliances (+2.0%), Medical Care (+0.5%), Transport and Communication (+1.2%), Recreation & Education (0.3%) and Miscellaneous (+1.7%).

A Closer Look

The categories with the largest influence in the basket, namely Food (10%), Housing (39%) and Transport & Communication (20%), recorded the largest price increases in April relative to February 2011.


Within the expenditure category Food it can be noted that all nine food groups became more expensive. The following increases were recorded in each food group; Grain (+1.5%), Meat and Fish (+3.6%), Fats & Oils (+2.7%), Dairy Products (+1.2%), Potatoes, Vegetables & Fruit (+1.2%), Sugar & Chocolate (+3.0%), Pre-cooked dishes (+5.3%), Eating-out (+3.0%) and other food resources (+2.3%).

More specifically the following products largely influenced the total price change within the food category; Grains largely influenced by; Children biscuits (+29.6%). The food group Meat & Fish largely influenced by; Goat Meat (+53.9%), Chicken (+4.3%) and Salted and Dried Fish (-5.5%) The food group Potatoes, Vegetables & Fruit largely influenced by; Cabbage (-16.0%), Carrots (+12.3%), Leafy Vegetables (-13.5%), Tomatoes (+24.2%), Cucumbers (+38.2%), other fresh Vegetables (+66.2%) and Apples & Pears (+10.8%).


Within the expenditure category Housing it can be noted that four of the five product groups became more expensive whilst one remain unchanged. Amongst the more expensive were the product groups Dwelling costs (+0.4%), Energy expenses (13.7%), House maintenance (+0.7%) and Garden maintenance (+1.3%). More specifically it must be noted that the products Electricity (+15.6%) and Cooking Gas (+5.3%) largely influenced the total price percentage change recorded in the product group Energy Usage.

Transport & Communication

Within the expenditure category Transport & Communication one of the four product groups became more expensive whilst two remained stable and one became cheaper. The product group Vehicle Expenses increased by 4.6%, whilst the product group Communication decreased by 0.4%. Note that the Gasoline (+11.5%) largely influenced the total price change within the product group Vehicle Expenses

A Special Edition: Oil Market

There have been frequent price changes recorded for gasoline and diesel on St. Maarten. In light of these developments a closer look at the World Crude Oil prices will help to explain the volatile trend. The average price per barrel of crude oil has increased by approximately $35.44 between April 2010 and 2011.

Inflation St. Maarten February 2011

The 12-month average of consumer prices was 2.5 percent higher in April 2011 than in April 2010. The inflation rate of April 2011 (2.5%) has increased by 4.0 percent compared to that of April 2010 (2.4%).

Inflation per Expenditure Category

Eight of the nine expenditure categories recorded inflation in April 2011, whilst one remained stable. Housing at a rate of 3.8 percent, which is the category with the largest influence (39%). Transportation and Communication (20%), which is the second largest category, expanded at a rate of 1.7 percent. Food prices which is the third largest category (10%), inflated at a rate of 2.9 percent.



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