Jamaican economy contracts 0.1% for the second quarter of 2017

The Jamaican economy recorded a 0.1% contraction for the second quarter of 2017 compared to the corresponding quarter of 2016 as indicated by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN). The decline was attributed to a 3.3% decrease in the Goods Producing industries as the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing and Mining and Quarrying industries declined.

In STATIN’s quarterly press release, the ‘Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing industry fell by 9.5%, as a result of unfavorable weather conditions and the “devastation of crops from the beet armyworm infestation.” There was a 10.9% decline observed for the Mining & Quarrying industry which was traced to heavy rainfall which impacted mining activities as well as the malfunctioning of equipment at one of the factories.  According to STATIN, “Lower output levels in crude bauxite production was influenced largely by the loss of one of the major markets. The Manufacturing industry grew by 1.1% and Construction by 1.2%. Increased output from the Manufacturing industry was influenced by increase in both the Food, Beverages & Tobacco (0.8%) and Other Manufacturing (1.7%) sub-industries. The performance of the Construction industry reflected increased activities in the building construction and civil engineering sub-groups. The industry continued to benefit from renovations in the hotel industry and expenditure on road rehabilitation works.”

The Services industry rose 1% during the second quarter of 2017 due to higher levels of output from all industries. According to STATIN, “Increased output was recorded for: Electricity & Water (0.1%), Wholesale & Retail Trade; Repairs; Installation of Machinery & Equipment (0.6%), Hotels & Restaurants (5.1%), Transport, Storage & Communication (0.4%), Finance & Insurance Services (1.4%), Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities (0.5%), Producers of Government Services (0.1%) and Other Services (1.6%).”

An increase in foreign national arrivals positively impacted the  Hotels & Restaurants industry, Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities and Other Services which all experienced greater level of output.

Notably, the economy recorded a growth of 0.8% in the April – June 2017 quarter, relative to the first quarter of 2017. STATIN noted, “This growth was due to higher output levels in the Services industries (1.3%). However, the Goods Producing industries declined by 0.7%.”