The Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin, published in October 2013, covers the period July – September 2013 and contains updates for the annual rate of inflation of the Retail Price Index (RPI), Estimated Population and Visitor arrivals to St Helena.

Annual inflation of the RPI stood at 0.5 per cent in Quarter 3 2013 – the lowest recorded rate in over ten years. There has been a 0.05 per cent decrease in the RPI (the overall cost of the ‘St Helena Shopping Basket’) from Quarter 2 to Quarter 3, 2013.

The low rate of annual inflation of the RPI indicates that the size and importance of recorded price changes in the overall shopping basket are largely balanced. The single most noteworthy effect this quarter is a 10 per cent reduction in the cost of Broadband internet services.

The published figures for annual inflation of the RPI reflect the rate of change in price of goods and services in the St Helena Shopping Basket, which represents the weekly expenditure of a “typical” St Helenian household. Individual households will have a differing spending pattern which means that their personal figure for inflation may be more closely represented by inflation in the sub-categories of the RPI. It should be noted that annual inflation in the Food sub-category has dropped for the last three quarters and currently stands at 1.0 per cent, double the headline rate of inflation. However, over the last quarter there has been a 0.3 per cent reduction in the overall cost of items in the Food sub-category. Of all sub-categories in the Shopping Basket, it is price changes associated with Food items which are most obvious to the majority of consumers and are most keenly felt by low income households.

The St Helena resident population continues to grow. There is a temporary long-term increase as a result of increasing numbers of expatriate Basil Read and Government workers living on the Island for an extended period, but we are also seeing a number of Saints returning to live and work on the Island.

Visitor arrivals in the first nine months of 2013 are up by 18.1 per cent compared to the same period last year. The majority of arrivals on the RMS are Saints and Business visitors. Tourist arrivals are up by 10.2 per cent compared to the same period in 2012, an additional 36 people in real terms.

The Statistical News Bulletin, along with other statistical reports, is available for download from the SHG website

If you have requested a copy of the Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin via email and have not yet received it, please contact the office on 22138 or
Statistics Office

28 October 2013

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