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Jamaica’s economy up 1.3 per cent in second quarter

Jamaica’s economy grew by 1.3 per cent in the second quarter of the year when compared to the same period in 2018, according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).

Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, Carol Coy (left), speaking during today’s (October 17) quarterly press briefing at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston. (Photo: JIS)

The improved performance was helped by increases in the services (1.6 per cent) and goods producing (0.6 per cent) industries between April and June of this year, said STATIN’s Director General, Carol Coy, at the institute’s quarterly press briefing on October 17.

The performance also marks a 0.1 per cent increase when compared to the first quarter of 2019, Coy said.

Mining and quarrying was up by 4.6 per cent. (Photo: YouTube.com)

Growth in the goods producing industry was largely attributed to the performance of mining and quarrying which had higher levels of input, resulting from increased alumina production, which resulted in a 4.6 per cent growth, while manufacturing was up 3.3 per cent.

“In the second quarter of 2019, alumina production was 624.7 thousand tonnes, an increase of 7.5 per cent when compared to the similar period in 2018,” said Coy.

“Inflation rate for September stood at 0.4 per cent, and 3.7 per cent for the calendar year to date>”

– Director General of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, Carol Coy

However, decreased demand from overseas markets saw crude bauxite production fell to 768.3 thousand tonnes, a decline of 18.5 per cent.

What’s more, agriculture, forestry and fishing declined by 1.7 per cent while construction dropped by 1.4 per cent. The decline in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry was attributed to poor weather conditions while construction gains were stymied by the completer or near completion of several major infrastructural projects.

Construction gains slowed by completion of some road projects. (Photo: Jamaica Observer)

Value added for the manufacturing industry’s growth resulted from increases in the other manufacturing and the food, beverages and tobacco sub-industries of 8.3 per cent and 0.1 per cent, respectively.

Additionally, higher production levels of refined petroleum and non-metallic mineral products influenced the growth in the other manufacturing category.

The main contributors to the decline in the traditional export crops sub-industry were bananas and plantains which fell by 2.6 per cent and sugar cane, down 33.8 per cent.

Bananas and plantains fell by 2.6 per cent. (Photo: Jamaica Information Service)

Meanwhile, growth was achieved in seven of the eight service industries, with hotels and restaurants topping the group with a 5.8 per cent increase, Coy said. This was influenced by the performance in the groups – hotels and other short-stay accommodation and restaurants, bars and canteens.

Other notable performances include: finance and insurance services grew by 4.4 per cent; other services were up 1.8 per cent; wholesale and retail trade; and repairs and installation of machinery and equipment up 1.0 per cent;

Inflation rate for September stood at 0.4 per cent, and 3.7 per cent for the calendar year to date, she advised.