Jamaica’s economy is expected to grow between 0.5 per cent and 1.5 per cent for the calendar year 2019/2020, according to the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).
The forecast was made at the PIOJ’s Director General, Dr Wayne Henry at its quarterly press briefing yesterday, November 19.
Meanwhile, growth for the present quarter is projected around zero and one per cent.
Taking into consideration the Jamaica’s performance to date and its expected real gross domestic product performance for the quarter, the PIOJ shared its conclusions while also presenting the short-term outlook for the country:
Dr Henry said agriculture should rebound following a decrease due to a drought over the previous quarter. “The Meteorological Service has indicated that for October to December 2019 we are likely to experience rainfall levels that are near-normal to above normal,” he said.
What’s more, finance; electricity consumption and tourism activities are expected to continue their growth, benefitting from “increased net interest income as well as higher fees and commissions income associated with continued expansion in the stock of outstanding loans and advances.”
“Increased investor and business confidence levels based on consumer and business perception of short term economic prospects.”– PIOJ’s Director General, Dr Wayne Henry
Major infrastructural works are expected to intensify within the review period thanks to several residential and road construction projects, he said.
Additionally, a favourable economic climate is expected to benefit the private sector with continued stability. The steady macroeconomic is seen by the relatively low inflation and interest rates which are driving local investments and credit expansion.
Dr Henry said other factors supporting this positive environment are “Increased investor and business confidence levels based on consumer and business perception of short term economic prospects” and “improvements in the fiscal out-turn as key targets are continuously being met or surpassed.”
However, there are some risks that could affect the PIOJ’s projections, chief among which are slower than anticipated global economic growth associated possible trade tensions, and weather-related shocks.
Early estimates by the PIOJ indicate that the economy grew a lacklustre 0.3 per cent over the quarter ended September 30.