Jamaican economy records 5.7% growth in June quarter Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Jamaican economy grew by an estimated 5.7 per cent during the April to June 2022 quarter, the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) announced on Thursday.

GDP growth was spurred by 7.7 per cent growth in the Services Industry, despite the Goods Producing Industry contracting by 0.4 per cent, according to Director-General of the PIOJ, Dr Wayne Henry.

He said the out-turn largely reflected the impact of the removal of measures to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking during the PIOJ’s digital quarterly media briefing, Henry said all Services Industry subsectors recorded higher out-turns during the review period.

These were led by Hotels and Restaurants, which grew by an estimated 55.4 per cent, reflecting a sharp increase in visitor arrivals from Jamaica’s main source markets.

Henry disclosed that foreign national arrivals between April and May 2022 totalled 399,310 visitors, up 110 per cent. Data for June was not yet available.

Meanwhile, ‘Transport, Storage and Communication’ grew 10 per cent, due to increases in the transport and storage, and communication components.

“Improved performance was recorded for the air transport sub-component, largely reflecting an 82.5 per cent increase in passenger movements due to departures, up 79.6 per cent, and arrivals, up 81.9 per cent,” Henry stated.

Positive out-turns were also recorded for Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair and Installation of Machinery (WRTRIM), up 5.8 per cent; Electricity and Water Supply, up two per cent; and ‘Finance and Insurance Services’, up 0.5 per cent.

“The improved performance [in the Services Industry] largely reflected the strength of the continued recovery following the relatively low levels of output recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2021, when some of the restrictive COVID-19 management measures were still in effect,” Henry pointed out.

The Goods Producing Industry’s out-turn largely resulted from an estimated 60.6 per cent decline in Mining and Quarrying, due to a decline in alumina production, down 76.8 per cent, which outweighed increased crude bauxite production which moved up, by 8.8 per cent.

Construction declined by an estimated 4.2 per cent, mainly reflecting a downturn in activities in the Other Construction component. The total sale of construction inputs contracted by 13.6 per cent.

“The estimated contraction in the Other Construction component, was due to lower capital expenditure on civil engineering activities reflecting the National Works Agency, which disbursed $5 billion, down 29.2 per cent due to lower expenditure associated with work on the Yallahs to Harbour View leg of the Southern Coastal Highway Project (SCHIP),” the Director-General informed.

Henry noted that these declines offset the increased expenditure from the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), which disbursed $2.3 billion, representing an increase of 6.3 per cent, for increased power generation and distribution, and the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ), which expended $1.3 billion for infrastructural developments.

Conversely, Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing grew by an estimated 12.6 per cent, and Manufacturing, 2.8 per cent.

The economy is estimated to have grown by 6.1 per cent for the first six months of 2022, from January to June.

The PIOJ head indicated that the short-term economic prospects are positive, with growth anticipated to be within the range of two to three per cent for the July to September quarter.

Henry said this is expected to spur 2022/23 fiscal year growth ranging between three and five per cent.

“It should be noted, however, that the economy is not expected to attain pre-COVID GDP [gross domestic product] levels until Fiscal Year 2023/24,” he added.