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An overhead view of a section of New Kingston in Jamaica (File photo)

Jamaica records 0.3 per cent growth for last quarter

An overhead view of a section of New Kingston in Jamaica (File photo)

Jamaica’s economy saw anaemic growth of 0.3 per cent for the quarter ended September 30 when compared to the corresponding period last year, according to the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

Planning Institute of Jamaica Director, Dr Wayne Henry (Photo: Jamaica Information Service)

The country’s performance for the three-month period was shared by the PIOJ’s Director General Dr Wayne Henry at its quarterly press briefing yesterday.

Despite increased domestic demand, and record levels of employment, the figures were tempered by several factors including extended drought conditions and continued showdown between the United States and China, Dr Henry said.

“The impact of the trade war between the USA and China…has had a negative impact on external demand for Jamaica’s goods and services.”

PIOJ Director, Dr Wayne Henry

“The impact of the trade war between the USA and China which has resulted in the slowing of economic growth in some of the more advanced economies and has had a negative impact on external demand for Jamaica’s goods and services,” he said.

What’s more, delayed start of several major infrastructure projects, plagued by procurement and slow mobilisation issues, affected Jamaica’s performance. “This has resulted in a slowing in growth, particularly for the Construction industry, in which several projects that were initiated in 2018 or earlier have ended or are in the process of winding-down,” he said.

The impact of the trade war between the United States and China has negatively impacted external demand for Jamaica’s goods.

However, the country still experienced creditable performance in its increased consumer and business confidence levels which helped to grow investments and consumer demand.

The figures represent estimates, based on initial results shared by the major data providers, Dr Henry said, adding that the official figures will be revealed by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica at the end of December.  

Several major sectors saw declines including the Goods-producing industry, down 2.1 per cent); Agriculture, down 0.2 per cent; Mining and Quarrying, down by 18.5 per cent and Construction, down by 1.5 per cent.

Agriculture was down 0.2 per cent over the quarter. (Photo: Jamaica Information Service)

Improved performances were seen in Finance and Insurance Services, up by three per cent; Manufacturing, up 1.6 per cent and the Service industry, up by 1.2 per cent over the period.

Jamaica’s economy grew by 1.3 per cent in the previous quarter of April to June when compared to 2018.

Overall, the country’s real gross domestic product for the first three quarters increased 1.2 per cent.