JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) is reporting growth of just under one per cent for the period July to September.
  • BoJ Governor said it nonetheless, represents a “return to growth… following six consecutive quarters of contraction.”
  • The October to December quarter is projected to record growth similar to the July to September period.

The Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) is reporting growth of just under one per cent for the period July to September.

Central Bank Governor, Brian Wynter, who made the disclosure during the BoJ’s quarterly media briefing held in the institution’s auditorium, downtown Kingston, on Tuesday, November 19, attributed the second quarter growth to, among other things, the response of Jamaican businesses to improvements in external demand for local outputs.

While acknowledging that the outturn was “modest”, Mr. Wynter said it nonetheless, represents a “return to growth… following six consecutive quarters of contraction.”

He said that the estimated expansion for the quarter reflected improvements in performance in agriculture, forestry and fishing; mining and quarrying; hotels and restaurants; and construction and installation.

The Governor said the response of local businesses to improved external demand is assessed to have been the “primary driver” of expanded economic activity for the quarter.”

He noted, however, that local consumption is estimated to have declined for the quarter, “reflecting the impact of the ongoing fiscal consolidation and declining real incomes.”

Mr. Wynter said the October to December quarter is projected to record growth similar to the July to September period “supported by the forecast for continued strengthening in global economic growth.”

“In addition, we expect that the continued implementation of the policies set out under the (International Monetary Fund) Extended Fund Facility will provide a boost to investor confidence. But, domestic demand conditions are expected to remain relatively weak over the near-term, even as we return to growth,” he indicated.

In this regard, Mr. Wynter advised that the rate of growth projected for the entire fiscal year is expected to be within the range of zero to one per cent.

He added that the pattern of growth for the October December quarter and fiscal year is expected to be largely driven by activities in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing; mining and quarrying; hotels and restaurants; and construction and installation, similar to July to September period.