The Quarterly Statistical News Bulletin for October 2016, covers the period July to September 2016, and contains updates for the annual rate of Inflation of the Retail Price Index, High-Level Economic Updates, Estimated Population, Passenger Arrivals, and Vehicle Numbers of People Receiving Social Benefits on St Helena. In addition to the regular updates, figures are published for the Gross Domestic Product and Human Development Index on the Island.
Annual inflation of the St Helena Retail Price Index (RPI) stood at 3.2 per cent in Quarter 3 2016 – up by 1.4 percentage points from the previous quarter and by 1.4 percentage points from the equivalent period in 2015. The major upwards pressures come from increases in Food items, particularly meat, fruit and vegetables, and also the increased electricity tariffs in April 2016.
In the third calendar quarter of 2016, the number of people on-Island averaged 4,455 and the average St Helenian population was 4,048. Compared to the same period in 2015 – this represents a 1.3 per cent (58 person) decrease in total population and a 0.5 per cent (21 person) increase in the resident St Helenian population. With 28 births and 38 deaths in the year to date, net migration continues to be the largest driver of population change for both the total and St Helenian resident population(s).
In the financial year 2016/17, to date a 13 per cent decrease in passenger arrivals to St Helena is noted. This is primarily due to a decrease in the number of people travelling for Business reasons and St Helenians travelling to and from the Island for work and personal activities. With five fewer arrivals of the RMS St Helena in the year to date, four in the first quarter of the financial year, the reduction in passenger arrivals is partly due to constraints in the opportunity to travel to and from the Island. In the second quarter of the final year, arrival numbers have been down, primarily due to a fewer number of passengers per voyage, with booking numbers supposedly down as a result of the late announcement of the shipping schedule beyond July 2016. The St Helena Airport is operational and between April and September 2016 saw seven chartered flight arrivals, bringing 79 passengers.
In addition to the routine statistical updates, the St Helena Statistics Office have produced updates to key indicators of economic and social development on St Helena.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of St Helena in 2014/15 is estimated to have been £33.5 million. This leads to an estimate of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of £7,100 in current prices or $10,300 (international dollars, calculated using UK estimates of Purchasing Power Parity). These estimates are in line with average income, which stood at £6,240 in 2014/15, with the caveat that GNI per capita includes business profits and income from employment of technical cooperation officers. Between 2009/10 and 2014/15 GDP on St Helena grew at a nominal rate of 16.5 per cent per annum and GNI per capita in international dollars at 7.3 per cent per annum. This has not been produced from a broad, income based, analysis and are not a complete presentation of the National Accounts, so some of the usual details are not yet available – most notably those relating to growth within industry sectors.
The Human Development Index for St Helena is estimated at 0.749. This places St Helena firmly in the ‘High Human Development’ category, ranking somewhere around 80 out of a total of 188 countries included in the 2015 UN Human Development Report.
When compared to similarly ranked countries, St Helena has particular strengths in terms of high life expectancy and little inequality in years of schooling. GNI per capita has risen rapidly in recent years and, although increasing, income inequality remains low. St Helena’s weaknesses come from a relatively low proportion of students staying in education beyond compulsory schooling and fewer still undertaking tertiary education.
This Statistical News Bulletin, along with other statistical reports, is available on the SHG website at: www.sainthelena.gov.sh/statistics
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31 October 2016