The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has reported an 11.3 per cent economic decline for the second quarter, or July-September period, when compared to the corresponding period of last year.
The PIOJ in a quarterly briefing this morning said that the continued contractions stem from several adverse impacts including those associated with the novel coronavirus pandemic, lower outturns from the mining and quarrying industry due to the temporary closure of the JISCO/Apart alumina refinery, weakened business and consumer confidence associated with uncertainties regarding the duration and impact of the pandemic, along with reductions in income due to job losses and reduced work hours.
During the review period, many of the major industries such as those in the service industries, especially the hotel and restaurants sector, continued to experience decline. However, a further decline during this period was tempered by growth in the agriculture sector (up 2.0 per cent) along with an uptick in construction activities due to some exemptions from imposed measures and the phased reopening of the economy.
“As we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still a lot of uncertainty globally. In our case, we have been managing the pandemic fairly well and I think as we continue to do that we may see a slowing in the pace of the decline throughout the short-term,” said director general of the PIOJ, Dr Wayne Henry.
The PIOJ in its preliminary estimates further said that there was a 10.7 per cent decrease in the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) for the first nine months of this year.
“This reflected lower real value added for both the goods producing industry, down 6.0 per cent and the services industry, down 11.4 per cent,” the entity stated.
In its short-term economic outlook, the PIOJ said that the general prospects for the remainder of the year are expected to remain negative with GDP recovery expected within the next three-four years and the labour market in the next two-three years.