JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is projecting growth of between one and two percent for the 2016/17 fiscal year.
  • Manufacturing grew by 3.9 percent; electricity and water – 3.4 percent; and hotels and restaurants – 11.6 percent.
  • The PIOJ head said the growth prospects for the April to June quarter “are generally positive,” based on anticipated strengthening in the performance of most industries, relative to the corresponding period in 2015.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is projecting growth of between one and two percent for the 2016/17 fiscal year.

PIOJ Director General, Colin Bullock, said the positive forecast is based on several factors, including an anticipated increase in global economic growth; strengthening of investor confidence; favourable weather conditions for agricultural production; and the impact of business environment reforms.

He was speaking at the PIOJ’s quarterly media briefing at the institute’s New Kingston offices on Wednesday, June 1.

He said that with a number of strategic projects to come on stream, the growth forecast could be exceeded.

These include projects in the areas of tourism and port development, particularly expansion of the Kingston Container Terminal (KCT); the build-out of office space to facilitate expansion of business process outsourcing (BPO); and increase in agro-parks/agro-economic zones.

The economy grew by 0.9 percent in 2015/16 with manufacturing, electricity and water, and hotels and restaurants being the key growth sectors.

Manufacturing grew by 3.9 percent; electricity and water – 3.4 percent; and hotels and restaurants – 11.6 percent.

The Director General noted that the January to March 2016 quarter also grew by 0.9 percent, with electricity and water – 5.4 percent; hotels and restaurants – 2.7 percent; agriculture, forestry and fishing – two percent; and manufacturing –1.1 percent, making the most notable contributions.

Several other sectors, including construction; transport, storage and communication; wholesale and retail trade, repair and installation of machinery; finance and insurance services; and real estate, also recorded growth ranging between 0.4 and 0.6 percent, while mining and quarrying declined by one percent.

Mr. Bullock said the positive out-turn largely reflects the impact of improvements in the global economy on major service industries, and domestic demand resulting from strengthening of business and consumer confidence levels, among other factors.

The PIOJ head said the growth prospects for the April to June quarter “are generally positive,” based on anticipated strengthening in the performance of most industries, relative to the corresponding period in 2015.

“Growth is expected to be in the range of 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent, and will be supported by growth in agriculture, reflecting the continued recovery from the drought conditions of last year, and an expansion in output facilitated by increased access to irrigation infrastructure as well as increased use of agro-parks, which are being developed in agro-economic zones,” he added.

Mr. Bullock said other sectors expected to make notable contributions include: electricity and water supply, reflecting “higher demand” associated with increased economic activity and improved rainfall levels; construction, reflecting the anticipated increase in housing starts facilitated by the National Housing Trust (NHT), increased hotel development and office space build-out for BPO expansion.