PIOJ Reports 1.5 Per Cent Growth for July to September

Story Highlights

  • The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting that the economy grew by 1.5 per cent in the July to September 2015 quarter, relative to the corresponding period in 2014.
  • The entity’s Director General, Colin Bullock, said the figure represents the strongest growth recorded since the April to June 2014 quarter, and was largely due to a recovery in the manufacturing industry.
  • He was speaking at the PIOJ’s quarterly media briefing at its New Kingston offices on November 19.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting that the economy grew by 1.5 per cent in the July to September 2015 quarter, relative to the corresponding period in 2014.

The entity’s Director General, Colin Bullock, said the figure represents the strongest growth recorded since the April to June 2014 quarter, and was largely due to a recovery in the manufacturing industry.

He was speaking at the PIOJ’s quarterly media briefing at its New Kingston offices on November 19.

Mr. Bullock said the positive out-turn for July to September largely reflects the impact of the implementation of strategic investment projects, including road repair and highway construction (Phases 1 and 3 of the North-South link of Highway 2000); as well as hotel construction and expansion, with an estimated 2,500 rooms under construction.

He further cited the building of new office space to facilitate the expansion of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) activities; construction activities to establish three renewable energy plants; and increased production by agro-parks.

A breakdown of sector performance saw a 4.4 per cent growth in the Goods Producing Industry, while the Services Industry grew by 0.6 per cent.

Within the Goods Producing Industry, increases were recorded for Manufacturing up by 9.7 per cent; Agriculture, 3.3 per cent; and Construction, 0.8 per cent.

However, Mining and Quarrying recorded a decrease of 1.0 per cent over the corresponding period of 2014. In the area of Services, all industries showed increases, with the exception of Producers of Government Services, down by 0.2 per cent.

Mr. Bullock said the decline in Mining and Quarrying was due to drought conditions, which affected water production and slowed the growth out-turn.

“There was production downtime associated with technical problems at a major alumina refinery, he said, noting that there were also delays in the implementation of several Government-financed capital projects where total capital expenditure was 13.8 per cent less than in the corresponding quarter of 2014, and 52.8 per cent less than budgeted for the review period.

Meanwhile, real GDP was estimated to have increased by 0.8 per cent for the first nine months of the year.

“The Goods Producing and Services Industries grew by 1.5 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively. The industries recording the largest increases in real value added during the first nine months of 2015 were Manufacturing, Hotels and Restaurants, Mining and Quarrying, and Transport Storage and Communication,” Mr. Bullock said.

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