JIS News

Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Gladstone Hutchinson, says the economy is projected to record real growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) of between 0.0 and 1.0 per cent, during the July to September quarter.
The projection is primarily based on what he describes as the “positive impact”, which the anticipated recovery in the global marketplace is expected to have on Jamaica’s economy, signs of which are already beginning to show based on data provided, he said.
The Government’s US$2.4 billion standby agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and expressed support for Jamaica’s economy by several multilaterals particularly within the context of the reform agenda being pursued by the administration also contributed, he said.
Speaking at the PIOJ’s quarterly briefing (April to June ) at their Oxford Road, New Kingston office on Wednesday’s (August 25), Dr. Hutchinson said the projected GDP growth is based on expected increased activities in mining and quarrying, consequent on the re-opening of the re-opening of the West Indies Alumina Company’s (WINDALCO) Ewarton plant, St. Catherine, in July; the recovery in agricultural production; and improvements in tourism-related air transport activities, which recorded declines during the April to June quarter.
Stressing that the outturn for the year is dependent on activities in mining and quarrying, transport, storage and communications, tourism and allied industries, the Director General pointed to positive indicators arising to this end.
He said that in tourism, preliminary data for July showed that airport arrivals increased by 3.4 per cent and cruise ship passenger arrivals by 15.7 per cent.
In Mining and quarrying, total bauxite production grew by 49.3 per cent, due to an 11.8 per cent in alumina production and 98.6 per cent increase in crude bauxite production. Total bauxite exports increased by 40 per cent, due to the combined effects of a 109.2 per cent increase in crude bauxite exports and a 23.6 per cent contraction in alumina exports.
He pointed out that GDP performance during the first half of this year contracted by an estimated 0.9 per cent, relative to the corresponding period last year, with an April to June period decline of 0.8 per cent. He also stated that the services and goods producing industries declined by 0.7 and 2.9 per cent, respectively.
Dr. Hutchinson contended that risk to the economy achieving the projected GDP growth target for July to September, could be continued weakness in external demand and corresponding slow recovery internally for local goods and services, as well as challenges associated with the hurricane season.
Risk to this outturn could arise from continued weakness in the external environment and the slow recovery of local demand for Jamaican goods and services, as well as the usual risks associated with the hurricane season.

Skip to content