Mining and Quarrying Top-Performing Sector

Story Highlights

  • The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting that mining and quarrying grew by an estimated 25.5 per cent from January to March 2018, to emerge as the top-performing sector over the quarter, compared to the corresponding period last year.
  • Dr. Henry said growth in the building construction component was due to an increase in residential and non-residential developments, reflecting a 286.6 per cent increase in housing starts by public institutions to 1,527 units, of which the National Housing Trust (NHT) accounted for 1,512 units.
  • Dr. Henry said the growth prospects for April to June 2018 quarter are “generally positive” based on the anticipated strengthening of the performance of most industries, relative to the similar quarter of 2017.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting that mining and quarrying grew by an estimated 25.5 per cent from January to March 2018, to emerge as the top-performing sector over the quarter, compared to the corresponding period last year.

Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, said the sector’s out-turn, to a large extent, spurred the goods producing industry’s estimated three per cent growth over the review period, which also saw the services industry growing by approximately 0.7 per cent.

Dr. Henry was speaking at the PIOJ’s quarterly media briefing at the agency’s New Kingston head office on Tuesday (May 22).

He said the mining and quarrying sector’s out-turn resulted from a 28.7 per cent increase in bauxite production. This, he pointed out, reflected higher alumina and crude bauxite production.

“Alumina production was 27.1 per cent higher, reflecting the resumption of productive activity at the JISCO-Alpart alumina refinery since October to December 2017. Crude bauxite production grew by 27.7 per cent due to more conducive weather conditions,” he explained.

Other sectors under the goods producing industry recording growth were construction, up 1.5 per cent; manufacturing, up one per cent; and agriculture, forestry and fishing, 0.5 per cent.

Dr. Henry said growth in the building construction component was due to an increase in residential and non-residential developments, reflecting a 286.6 per cent increase in housing starts by public institutions to 1,527 units, of which the National Housing Trust (NHT) accounted for 1,512 units.

Additionally, he said there was an increase in the volume and value of NHT mortgages by 6.2 per cent and 10.9 per cent, respectively.

“The estimated growth in the ‘other component’ (of the construction sector) was facilitated by higher capital expenditure recorded by the National Works Agency, which disbursed $3 billion on the construction and rehabilitation of roads, relative to $2.2 billion in the corresponding quarter of 2017; Jamaica Public Service, which disbursed $1.7 billion, relative to $890 million (last year); and the Port Authority of Jamaica, which disbursed $1.1 billion, up from $624.5 million,” the Director General said.

Meanwhile, hotels and restaurants, with an estimated 1.6 per cent out-turn, was the dominant sector under the services industry.

This out-turn was spurred by a 6.6 per cent increase in arrivals, to 1,298,674 visitors. This was reflected in stopover arrivals, up 6.8 per cent, and cruise passenger arrivals, up 65 per cent.

Dr. Henry also indicated that visitor expenditure is estimated to have grown by 8.5 per cent to US$825.3 million.

He pointed out that the out-turn for 2017/18 fiscal year growth was estimated at 0.8 per cent, with the goods producing industry recording 0.3 per cent and services, 0.9 per cent.

The industries recording the largest growth were mining and quarrying, up 4.7 per cent; hotels and restaurants, up four per cent; construction, 1.2 per cent; and manufacturing, 1.1 per cent.

Dr. Henry said the growth prospects for April to June 2018 quarter are “generally positive” based on the anticipated strengthening of the performance of most industries, relative to the similar quarter of 2017.

“Baseline economic growth is expected to be in the range of 1.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent,” he indicated.

JIS Social