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  • Co-Chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), Richard Byles, says Jamaica’s goods and services have become more competitive over the past year, particularly in the past five months.
  • The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) announced inflation of 0.2 per cent for May 2016.
  • The positive performance of the Goods Producing Industries was influenced by increased activities in agriculture, manufacturing and construction;

Co-Chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), Richard Byles, says Jamaica’s goods and services have become more competitive over the past year, particularly in the past five months.

Speaking at EPOC’s monthly media briefing at Sagicor Life’s offices in New Kingston today (July 13), Mr. Byles said the trailing 12-month inflation rate was 2.1 per cent, while the rate for January to May was -1.4 per cent.

He further noted that depreciation in the Jamaican dollar for the same period was approximately four per cent, resulting in a significant price competitiveness gain of 5.4 per cent.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) announced inflation of 0.2 per cent for May 2016. This is the first increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) since the start of the calendar year, following four months of negative inflation.

Mr. Byles indicated that this was as a result of the rise in the price of oil, which led to increase in the price for electricity and water, up 0.6 per cent, as well as transport, up 0.8 per cent.

He said STATIN has also reported that the Jamaican economy grew by 0.8 per cent for the first quarter of 2016, when compared to the similar quarter last year.

Mr. Byles noted that there was growth in all sectors, except mining, with the Goods Producing Industries recording 0.9 per cent increase and the Services Industries improving by 0.7 per cent.

 

The positive performance of the Goods Producing Industries was influenced by increased activities in agriculture, manufacturing and construction; while for the Service Industries, electricity, hotels and financing were the drivers of growth.