The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs has awarded the U.S. Virgin Islands a $250,000 grant to develop and set up a 2017 Consumer Price Index, according to the Interior Department.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke presented the grant award to Gov. Kenneth Mapp during their meeting at Interior Headquarters Monday in Washington D.C.
Zinke met previously with Governor Mapp during the USVI Centennial Commemoration in March.
“The new CPI will be based on a new 2016 Household Income and Expenditure Survey,” Acting Assistant Secretary for Insular Areas Nikolao Pula said in a statement. “The major focus of the project is to provide current data on consumer expenditures in the U.S. Virgin Islands, congruent with national standards. This is critical in order to better assess and evaluate price trends in various sectors of the economy and prospects for economic growth and development,” Pula said.
The activities funded by the grant will focus on three objectives: 1) to establish a new market basket of goods and services and new item weights; 2) to provide training and technical support for field enumerators in the price collection process; and 3) to conduct data processing activities to achieve the goal of a current CPI that reflects changing consumer behaviors and trends.
These are short-term technical assistance grants. They are aimed at priorities that include but are not limited to projects that foster development of the insular areas in the following areas: accountability, financial management, economic development, education, energy, management control initiatives, disaster assistance, natural and cultural resources, capacity building, public safety/emergencies, health, and invasive species management.
These grants are available to any of the four U.S. territories of the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, to the three freely associated states of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. This funding is appropriated annually by the U.S. Congress.