ORANJESTAD- In recent years, the gross domestic product (GDP) has contracted to almost half of what it was till some years ago. Compared to the year 2017, there is now a cumulative contraction of no less than 40.1%, according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS).
The value of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell from 142 million US dollars in 2017 to 85 million US dollars per year in the year 2020. According to the GDP, the sharp contraction has a number of causes. The first of these is the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. In 2019, a number of large companies were severely affected by regional developments in the oil sector, which reduced the demand for oil storage. And in 2020, the corona pandemic struck.
On St. Eustatius there was, because of the pandemic, an entry ban on St. Eustatius in 2020. As a result, inbound tourism by air fell by almost 70 percent, resulting in a decrease in the added value of the hospitality industry and the culture and recreation sector.
To put things in perspective, Statistics Netherlands notes that although companies that are heavily dependent on the demand for oil in the region have a major influence on GDP, their influence on national income is limited. The profits of these companies are not included in the national income, because these companies are fully owned by foreign shareholders. They mainly contribute to the labour income on the island.