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  • The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is reporting a second quarter calendar year economic growth of 1.3 per cent, between April and June, relative to the corresponding period in 2018.
  • STATIN’s Director General, Carol Coy, said the out-turn was spurred by a 1.6 per cent expansion in the services industries, and 0.6 per cent in the goods producing industries.
  • “When compared to the first quarter of 2019, the economy grew by 0.1 per cent,” Ms. Coy said.

The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is reporting a second quarter calendar year economic growth of 1.3 per cent, between April and June, relative to the corresponding period in 2018.

STATIN’s Director General, Carol Coy, said the out-turn was spurred by a 1.6 per cent expansion in the services industries, and 0.6 per cent in the goods producing industries.

“When compared to the first quarter of 2019, the economy grew by 0.1 per cent,” Ms. Coy said.

She was speaking at STATIN’s quarterly briefing at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Thursday (October 17).

Ms. Coy said the growth in the goods producing industries was mainly due to higher levels of output in mining and quarrying, which grew by 4.6 per cent, and manufacturing, up 3.3 per cent.

She noted, however, that during the review quarter agriculture, forestry and fishing declined by 1.7 per cent while construction contracted by 1.4 per cent.

Ms. Coy said the 4.6 per cent growth in the mining and quarrying industry resulted from increased alumina production.

“In the second quarter of 2019, alumina production was 624.7 thousand tonnes, an increase of 7.5 per cent when compared to the similar period in 2018,” she said.

But the Director General pointed out that crude bauxite production declined by 18.5 per cent to 768.3 thousand tonnes, due primarily to decreased demand from overseas markets.

Ms. Coy said value added for the manufacturing industry’s growth resulted from increases in the other manufacturing and the food, beverages and tobacco sub-industries of 8.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively.

Additionally, she said higher production levels of refined petroleum and non-metallic mineral products influenced the growth in the other manufacturing category.

“The [Petrojam] refinery operated at 100 per cent capacity throughout the review quarter, when compared to 49.7 per cent in 2018 when the refinery only operated in April and May,” she disclosed.

The Director General said the 0.1 per cent increase in the food, beverages and tobacco sub-industry was due mainly to the growth in the processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables, dairy products, grain milling, bakery products and beverages.

“However, lower output levels were recorded for meat and meat products and sugar and molasses,” she said.

Ms. Coy said the decrease in the construction industry was influenced by a reduction in civil engineering activities.

She explained that there were lower levels of expenditure as some of the major road rehabilitation works were nearing completion.

“There was growth in building construction influenced by the construction of residential and non-residential structures, including the renovation of hotels,” she added.

Ms. Coy pointed out that the decline in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry was due to unfavourable weather conditions. She pointed out that the sub-industry – other agricultural crops – declined by 0.5 per cent while the traditional export crops sub-industry decreased by 8.2 per cent.

She explained that the performance of other agricultural crops was largely attributed to the reduction in the production of vegetables by 6.9 per cent.

“However, there was an increase in the production of root crops by 1.6 per cent and animal farming, up by 2.5 per cent, mainly due to broiler production,” she said.

The main contributors to the decline in the traditional export crops sub-industry were bananas and plantains which fell by 2.6 per cent and sugar cane, down 33.8 per cent.

Meanwhile, Ms. Coy said growth was achieved in seven of the eight service industries, with hotels and restaurants topping the group with a 5.8 per cent increase.

This, she pointed out, was influenced by the performance in the groups: hotels and other short-stay accommodation and restaurants, bars and canteens.

Finance and insurance services grew by 4.4 per cent; other services were up 1.8 per cent; wholesale and retail trade, repairs and installation of machinery and equipment, up 1.0 per cent; transport, storage and communication, up 0.8 per cent; real estate, renting and business activities, up 0.8 per cent; and producers of government services, up 0.3 per cent. However, the electricity, water supply industry declined by 0.1 per cent.

Ms. Coy further advised that the inflation rate for September stood at 0.4 per cent, and 3.7 per cent for the calendar year to date.

Additionally, she said the point-to-point rate was 3.4 per cent, while the fiscal year-to-date figure was 3.0 per cent.