Consumer Price Index Increased in the First Quarter of 2024 

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Philipsburg, Sint Maarten – The Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased in the first quarter of 2024 to 113.31, which represented an increase of 0.90% when compared to the previous quarter. Additionally, when comparing consumer prices in quarter first of 2023 to quarter first of 2024 the results show a notable increase of 3.62%. 

A comparison of 2024 Q1 with 2023 Q4 revealed the highest Increases were in Clothing and  Footwear. 

In the first quarter of 2024, prices rose in 7 of the 12 expenditure categories. Increases were  seen in the categories of “Clothing and footwear” (+5.40%), “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” (+2.09%), “Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels” (+1.63%), “Miscellaneous goods and  services” (+0.94%), “Communication” (+0.53%), “Health” (+0.46%), and “Furnishings, household  equipment and routine household maintenance” (+0.36%). Decreases are seen in the categories  of “Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics” (-0.34%), “Recreation and culture” (-0.59%), and “Transport” (-1.80%). Whereas “Restaurants and hotels” and “Education” experienced no  changes. 

Based on the latest Household Budget Survey, the following four categories1 had the largest  percentage weight (influence) when calculating the total CPI: “Housing, water, electricity, gas,  and other fuels” (36.1%), “Transport” (14.6%), “Miscellaneous goods and services” (13.4%), “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” (7.2%). 

The change in the price of Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels was influenced  by an increase in the price of the following subcategory: Actual rentals for housing saw an  increase of 4.08%, which was driven by the subcomponent “Actual rentals paid by  tenants.” The price of “Maintenance and repairs on dwellings” also increased by 2.03%,  with a 2.75% increase in the subcomponent of “Materials for the maintenance and repair  of the dwelling”. “Electricity, gas, and other fuels” increased by 0.85%, with a  subcomponent increase in “Electricity” (+0.97%), but a decrease in “Solid fuels” (-0.50%). 

The prices of the category Transport decreased by -1.80% and were impacted by the subcategory Purchase of vehicles” (+0.49%), driven by increases in subcomponents “Motorcycles” (+24.50%) and “Motorcars” (+0.22%). Subcategory “Operation of personal  transport equipment2 decrease of 2.98% was derived from changes in “Fuels and  

1The four categories are 1) Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels, 2) Transport, 3) Miscellaneous goods  and services, and 4) Food and non-alcoholic beverages. 

2 Purchases of spare parts, accessories, or lubricants made by households to undertake the maintenance, repair,  or intervention themselves. If households pay an enterprise to carry out the maintenance, repair, or fitting, the lubricants for personal transport equipment” (-3.83%) and “Spare parts and accessories for  personal transport equipment” (-2.66%). Subcategory Transport services” (-2.45%)  decrease was led by “Passenger transport by road” (-3.97%). 

The prices slightly increased by 0.94% in the category Miscellaneous goods and services which were impacted by increases in subcategory “Personal care”3(+1.66%). This was driven by an increase in “Hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments” (+5.86), “Electric appliances for personal care” (+0.63%), and “Other appliances, articles,  and products for personal care” (+0.39%). Subcategory “Personal effects n.e.c.4increase was driven by “Other personal effects” (+1.64%) and “Jewelry, clocks, and watches” (+3.00%). 

Food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 2.09%. The subcategory “Food” increased  by 2.12% and there was an increase in “Non-alcoholic beverages” by 1.93%. The price  indices of the subcategory “Food” were influenced by the higher prices of “Milk, cheese,  and eggs” (+6.65%), “Fruit” (+6.54%), Vegetables” (+2.71%), “Food products n.e.c.5(+2.68%), “Meat” (+1.11%), “Sugar, jam, honey, chocolate, and confectionery” (+0.67%),  and “Bread and cereals” (+0.40%). Decreases were observed in “Oils and Fats” (-7.06%),  and “Fish and Seafood” (-0.61%). The subcategory “Non-alcoholic Beverages” saw an  increase in “Mineral waters, soft drinks, fruit, and vegetable juices” (+2.33%) and a  decrease “Coffee, tea, and cocoa” (-0.69%). 

Increasing costs in all four major categories indicated a strong increase in the CPI from the  fourth quarter of 2023 to the first quarter of 2024. 

First Quarter Inflation comparison – 2023 Q1 with 2024 Q1 saw the highest increase also in Communication. 

The prices of the first quarter of 2024 increased when compared to those in the first quarter  of 2023, with the inflation rate recorded at 3.62%. This rise in prices compared to the previous  12 months was due to an increase in household expenditure categories “Clothing and  footwear” (+11.00%), “Communication” (+9.87%), “Restaurants and hotels” (+6.47%),  “Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels” (+5.43%), “Education” (+3.70%), “Transport”  (+2.86%), “Food and non-alcoholic beverages” (+2.11%), “Alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics” (+1.80%), and “Health” (+0.89%). The only decreases were in “Miscellaneous goods  and services” (-1.50%), “Recreation and culture” (-0.88%), and “Furnishings, household  equipment and routine household maintenance” (+0.25%). 

The prices of three of the four expenditure categories that had the largest influence on the  total CPI increase when compared to the same period in 2023. 

Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels rose by 5.54%, driven by an increase in  “Electricity, gas, other fuels” (+17.53%), “Actual rentals for housing” (+7.52%), “Maintenance and repair of the dwelling” (+4.76%). While there were decreases in “Water  supply and miscellaneous services relating to the dwelling” (-0.27%). 

As mentioned previously, Transport increased by 2.86%; this was due to the increase in  “Purchase of vehicles” (+5.28%), “Transport services” (+2.61%), and in “Operation of  personal transport equipment including fuel” (+1.26%). 

Miscellaneous goods and services decreased by -0.95%. This was driven by decreases in  “Financial services n.e.c.” (-9.56%), “Social protection” (-4.72%), Personal effects n.e.c.” (- 0.74%) “, and “Personal care” (+0.59%). However, there remained an increase in  “Insurance” (+4.50%). 

In addition, prices of Food and non-alcoholic beverages increased by 2.11%, influenced by  “Non-alcoholic beverages” (+5.42%) and “Food” (+1.56%).