- The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is forecasting economic growth ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 per cent, for the July to September quarter.
- Newly appointed Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, said this is expected after the country recorded a 1.1 per cent outturn for the April to June period.
- Dr. Henry said there is continued strengthening in business and consumer confidence, consequent on the anticipated passage of the 13th International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Fund Facility (EFF) review.
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is forecasting economic growth ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 per cent, for the July to September quarter.
Newly appointed Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, said this is expected after the country recorded a 1.1 per cent outturn for the April to June period.
Noting that economic growth for the first six months of the 2016 calendar year increased by 0.9 per cent over the corresponding period last year, the Director General said the outturn for the 2016/17 fiscal year is projected to range between one and two per cent.
He was speaking at the PIOJ’s media briefing for the April to June quarter, which was held at the Institute’s head office in New Kingston, on August 24.
Dr. Henry said the quarter’s outturn largely reflected favourable weather conditions which positively impacted the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry; and the positive impact of continued strengthening of the global economy on some industries, notably hotels and restaurants.
Also in the mix were improved domestic demand, consequent on strengthened business and consumer confidence; and increased construction activities associated with hotel developments and expansion works, housing and new office space to facilitate the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.
As it relates to sector developments, Dr. Henry said the goods producing and services industries grew by 2.3 and 0.8 per cent, respectively.
The outturn for the goods producing industry was largely spurred by seven per cent growth recorded for agriculture, forestry and fishing.
He attributed this to a 13.5 per cent increase in domestic crops and a 6.7 per cent spike in animal farming.
Dr. Henry said the increase in domestic crops reflected growth in six of the nine crop groups, led by legumes, up 36.6 per cent; fruits, up 3.6 per cent; vegetables, up 21.2 per cent; and condiments, up 16 per cent.
“Growth in animal farming was pushed by broiler meat production, up 7.2 per cent; and egg production, up 22.1 per cent,” he added, while noting that traditional export crops declined by 7.7 per cent.
Other sectors recording positive outturns were electricity and water supply, up 5.5 per cent; hotels and restaurants, 1.6 per cent; finance and insurance services, one per cent; transport, storage and communication, 0.9 per cent; manufacturing, 0.7 per cent; the wholesale and retail trade, repair and installation of machinery, and real estate, renting and business activities, 0.5 per cent each; and construction, 0.4 per cent.
Dr. Henry said mining and quarrying declined 1.3 per cent, largely reflecting a 5.5 per cent reduction in total bauxite production.
Regarding the 0.9 per cent outturn for January to June 2016, Dr. Henry said this resulted from 1.6 and 0.8 per cent growth recorded by the goods producing and services industries, respectively.
“Higher output was estimated for all industries, with the exception of mining and quarrying, down 1.4 per cent, and producers of government services, down 0.2 per cent. The industries with the largest increases were agriculture, forestry and fishing, up 4.9 per cent; electricity and water supply, up 5.4 per cent; and hotels and restaurants, up two per cent,” he outlined.
As such, the Director General said the outlook for the July to September quarter is positive, “based on the continued strengthening of output in most industries”
Coupled with this, Dr. Henry said there is continued strengthening in business and consumer confidence, consequent on the anticipated passage of the 13th International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Fund Facility (EFF) review.