Jamaica’s economy declines 2.3% in first quarter

Jamaica’s economy declined by 2.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the corresponding period of 2019.

The country’s economy declined 2.3 per cent in the first quarter, said STATIN.

According to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), the decline was largely the result of the novel coronavirus which caused a shutdown of major industries across the island.

“The performance of the economy was negatively impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures implemented by the Government to limit its spread. Some of these measures included the implementation of a work-from-home order in mid-March, the closure of schools, bars and other places of entertainment, all-island curfew, and the imposition of overseas travel restrictions. These measures significantly impacted areas such as these measures significantly impacted areas such as tourism, tourist related activities and commerce,” STATIN said at its quarterly press briefing today.

Mining and quarrying declined during the review period, as did construction.

Additionally, STATIN said there were declines in Services and Goods Producing Industries (2.5 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively). 

Under the services category, six industries declined – hotels and restaurants; wholesale and retail trade; repairs; installation of machinery and equipment; transportation, storage and communications; and finance and insurance.

Three industries registered growth – electricity and water supply; real estate, renting and business activities; and products and government services.

As for the goods producing category, mining and quarrying as well as construction declined. Meanwhile, agriculture, forestry and fishing as well as manufacturing recorded growth.