BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, October 28, 2018 (Press Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister) – The cost of living in St. Kitts and Nevis fell by 1.3 percent on an end of period basis during the first six months of 2018. That’s according to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in its June 2018 Economic and Financial Review for St. Kitts and Nevis.

The 1.3 percent drop in the consumer price index for the first half of 2018 compares favourably to a 0.3 percent increase recorded during the corresponding period of 2017.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) describes the consumer price index as a tool that measures changes in the prices of goods and services purchased or otherwise acquired by households, which households use directly or indirectly, to satisfy their own needs and wants. It is a key statistic for economic and social policymaking and has substantial and wide-ranging implications for governments, businesses, and households.

According to the ECCB report, “The decrease in the index was attributable to lower prices for the transport; housing utilities, gas and fuels sub-indices, which accounted for 45.1 percent of the total weight of the goods and services basket. The transport sub-index declined by 4.2 percent, and that for housing utilities, gas and fuels fell by 1.6 percent.”

The other sub-indices that recorded significant decreases included education by 2.7 percent, health (1.4 percent) and alcoholic beverages, tobacco and narcotics (1.5 percent).

The 1.3 percent decrease in the consumer price index was just one of several high points for the Federation listed in the ECCB’s June 2018 Economic and Financial Review for St. Kitts and Nevis.

It also found that the country’s economy “expanded at an accelerated rate for the first six months of the year, relative to the performance of the economy for the same period in 2017,” and that the economic position of the Federal Government increased to “a larger overall fiscal surplus during the first half of 2018, compared with the corresponding period in 2017.”