- Several sectors within the services industry recorded growth for the July to September quarter, led by a 3.9 per cent increase in the hotels and restaurants sector.
- The services industry was the top performer for the review period, which saw economic contraction of 0.8 per cent, following four previous consecutive quarters of growth.
- The Director General noted that growth was also recorded for transport, storage and communication, which grew by 1.3 per cent.
Several sectors within the services industry recorded growth for the July to September quarter, led by a 3.9 per cent increase in the hotels and restaurants sector.
The sector grew by 0.6 per, with increased real value added in six of eight segments of the industry.
The services industry was the top performer for the review period, which saw economic contraction of 0.8 per cent, following four previous consecutive quarters of growth.
Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Colin Bullock, in providing details at the quarterly media briefing held at his Oxford Road offices today (Nov.19), attributed to decline to the recent drought, which he said, significantly impacted economic growth, particularly in the goods-producing industry.
He noted that the growth in hotels and restaurants was influenced by an estimated 5.0 per cent rise in stopover arrivals due mainly to increases from the American, Canadian and European markets.
Cruise passenger arrivals also increased 27.3 per cent to 262, 922 persons, largely reflecting a 50.7 per cent increase in arrivals to the port of Falmouth. Provisional visitor expenditure for the review quarter also rose by 6.8 per cent to US$523.0 million, Mr. Bullock informed.
The Director General noted that growth was also recorded for transport, storage and communication, which grew by 1.3 per cent.
He attributed the growth in the transport component to increased activity through the island’s sea and air ports. Total maritime cargo volume handled increased by 2.3 per cent, with a 6.4 per cent increase in total air passenger movements boosting air transport activities.
Turning to the expansion in telecommunications, Mr. Bullock said this was associated with an estimated increase in the volume of minutes sold by cellular operators, and increased marketing as a result of the intensification of competition.
On the contrary, electricity and water recorded a decline in real value added of 0.8 per cent, reflecting the impact of lower electricity consumption and drought conditions, which resulted in lower water production.
Mr. Bullock said that electricity consumption fell by 0.6 per cent due to declines in sales recorded in the following categories: Other (Power interchange customers e.g. bauxite companies) down 12.2 per cent; Large Power (Businesses using more than 500kVa) down 1.8 per cent; and Residential, down 0.5 per cent
“The decline in sales may be attributed to increased conservation efforts by households. Additionally, Line Losses and Unaccounted for Net Generation declined by 3.3 per cent relative to the corresponding quarter of 2013,” he informed.
With respect to water production, he said a decline of 2.9 per cent was recorded, largely reflecting the impact of the drought. “A decline of 7.1 per cent was recorded in the Eastern division, which outweighed a 3.6 per cent increase in the Western division,” he noted.
Also the goods-producing industry declined by 5.5 per cent, due to reductions of 21.0 per cent in agriculture, forestry and fishing; 2.0 per cent in mining and quarrying; and 0.2 per cent in manufacture.
There was, however, an increase of 1.2 per cent in construction due largely to increased capital expenditure on road works, and on-going building initiatives particularly non-residential projects.
Performance of the industry was constrained by an estimated downturn in residential construction.