USVI gets $250,000 to develop a new CPI

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on July 10, 2017. (Contributed Photo)

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on July 10, 2017. (Contributed Photo)

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs has awarded the U.S. Virgin Islands a $250,000 grant for the development and implementation of a 2017 Consumer Price Index.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke presented the grant award to U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp during their meeting at Interior headquarters on Monday.

Zinke previously met with Mapp during the USVI centennial in March.

“The new CPI will be based on a new 2016 Household Income and Expenditure Survey,” said acting assistant secretary for Insular Areas Nikolao Pula. “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.”

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 behavior and trends.

Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs provides Technical Assistance Program grants for short-term, non-capital projects and are not meant to supplant local funding of routine operating expenses of an island government. TAP priorities 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.

Funding for the TAP program under CFDA 15.875 at is 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 as well as to the three freely associated states of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. This funding is appropriated annually by the U.S. Congress. (DOI)

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