Jamaica’s economic growth will surpass one per cent for the current fiscal year, according to Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Nigel Clarke.
In a statement by his ministry yesterday, Clarke said the country’s growth, despite being affected by external shocks, is ahead of the average of its regional counterparts.
“US-China trade tensions and lower global growth have led to declines in the prices of many commodities including alumina, iron ore, soybeans and copper. As a result, growth in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2019 is forecasted by the IMF (International Monetary Fund) to average only 0.2 per cent. Though Jamaica is affected by the same external shocks, our 2019 growth is ahead of the Latin American and Caribbean average. It may not be much comfort but this context is nevertheless important.”
This performance he said comes despite the closure of a plant in the bauxite/alumina sector which affected the nation’s performance.
“STATIN reported earlier this week that the Jamaican economy grew in the June – September quarter of 2019 by 0.6 per cent over the June – September quarter of 2018. Modest economic expansion therefore continues despite the closure of the JISCO/Alpart plant in the September 2019 quarter and the corresponding 17.6 per cent decline in output in the important bauxite/alumina sector as a result,” Clarke said.
“The projection is for economic growth for the 2020/21 financial year to return to levels above one per cent. The Government will continue to use all levers at our disposal to elevate levels of growth beyond this across the medium term.”– Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Nigel Clarke
“The closure of JISCO was expected to impact growth in the 3rd quarter of 2019 and is expected to impact the fourth quarter of 2019 as well. However, the fact that the economy still expanded overall, despite a decline of nearly 18 per cent in the critical alumina sector, as a result of the JISCO/Alpart closure, is a credit to the improving economic resilience of the Jamaican economy.”
Jamaica has had 19 consecutive quarters of growth which is expected to continue into the new fiscal year. Clarke said “The projection is for economic growth for the 2020/21 financial year to return to levels above one per cent. The Government will continue to use all levers at our disposal to elevate levels of growth beyond this across the medium term.”