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  • The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has indicated that there is a positive economic outlook for the current quarter of October to December 2016.
  • Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, said real gross domestic product (GDP) for the period is expected to grow within the range of one to two per cent.
  • Meanwhile, Jamaica has recorded the strongest growth estimate in real GDP in nine years, with a 2.2 per cent growth for the July to September quarter.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has indicated that there is a positive economic outlook for the current quarter of October to December 2016.

Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, said real gross domestic product (GDP) for the period is expected to grow within the range of one to two per cent.

This, he said, is due to the anticipated strengthening of output in all industries, as well as the International Monetary Fund’s approval of a successor precautionary three-year Stand-By Arrangement with Jamaica.

Dr. Henry was addressing a quarterly press briefing held at the PIOJ offices on Wednesday (November 16).

He also informed that for the fiscal year 2016/17, the economy is projected to grow within the range of one to two per cent.

Meanwhile, Jamaica has recorded the strongest growth estimate in real GDP in nine years, with a 2.2 per cent growth for the July to September quarter.

Dr. Henry said the quarter’s performance was largely due to strong performance of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry, which saw an estimated real GDP increase of 28 per cent. This is the highest output by the industry recorded for a July-September quarter since 1998.

He said overall, the positive projected out-turn for the period reflects the impact of higher levels of business and consumer confidence and increased employment levels; improved performance in the economies of the country’s main trading partners; and improved weather conditions relative to the corresponding quarter in 2015.

The Director General said increased construction activities with the building of new and refurbishing of existing hotels, as well as the build-out of office space to facilitate the expansion of the Business Process Outsourcing industry, were also contributing factors.

The Goods-producing industry is estimated to have grown by 6.7 per cent, with all industries, except Manufacturing, registering increases in real value added during the quarter.

The Mining and Quarrying industry grew by two per cent, and construction is estimated to have grown by 1.2 per cent. Meanwhile, the Services industry, as well as the Transport, Storage and Communication industry, both grew by an estimated 0.8 per cent.

The Hotels and Restaurants industry, which captures the majority of tourism, grew by an estimated 2.3 per cent over the same period last year.

The Director General said for the first nine months of 2016, from January to September, real GDP is estimated to have increased by 1.4 per cent. This reflected projections of higher real value added for the Goods-producing sector, which is up 3.6 per cent, and the Services industry, up 0.8 per cent.

The largest increases for the year to date were recorded by Agriculture, up 11.6 per cent; Hotels and Restaurants, up two per cent; electricity and water, up 4.4 per cent; and construction, up one per cent.