Jamaican economy grows 0.8% for the third quarter of 2017

For the third quarter ended September 30, 2017, Jamaica’s economy recorded a 0.8% growth when compared to last year. Based on information released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), the total value added at constant prices for the Jamaican economy was $186,004 million. The  movement was attributed to improved performances in the Services industries (1.0%) and the Goods Producing industries (0.3%).


Goods Producing Industries

The Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing industry declined by 0.8% in the quarter compared to the third quarter of the previous year. This was swayed mainly by unfavourable weather conditions due to heavy rainfall. Other Agricultural Crops which, includes Animal Farming, Forestry and Fishing slid by 2.3%. However, Traditional Export Crops grew by 8.6% according to data released by STATIN.

The Mining & Quarrying industry fell by 7.8% stemming from a fall in alumina production which decreased by 11.4% and bauxite mining which declined by 2.1%.

The Manufacturing industry recorded a 2.3% increase in value added for the third quarter relative to the corresponding quarter in 2016. According to STATIN, “The industry’s performance was attributed to increased output from both the Food, Beverages & Tobacco and Other Manufacturing sub-industries.”

The Construction industry produced a growth of 1.2%. The performance reflectes increased activities in both the civil engineering and building construction components. STATIN noted, “Building construction activities were influenced by the construction of residential and nonresidential structures including the renovation of hotels. The civil engineering sub-group was positively impacted by increased levels of expenditure on road rehabilitation works.”


 Services Industries

The Electricity & Water Supply industry recorded growth of 2.4% in value added. Electricity consumption climbed by 2.6%, moving to 853,869 MWh in 2017 from 832,006 MWh in 2016. Water production rose by 3.9% moving to 17,982.4 million gallons in 2017 from 17,311.0 million gallons in 2016. The increase in water production was due mainly to higher levels in rainfall in eastern parishes as well as the implementation of projects geared towards reducing leakages across the island.

Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repairs; Installation of Machinery & Equipment industry increased by 0.6% for the period under review. This as the industry was positively impacted by increased construction activities and higher output levels in Manufacturing.

The Hotels and Restaurants industry was influenced by an improvement in hotels & short- stay accommodation and restaurants, bars & canteens which yielded a 3.9% growth. STATIN noted, “however, while there was an 11.8% increase in foreign national arrivals, the growth in accommodation services was tempered by the decline in the average length of stay in hotels & short- stay accommodation. The average length of stay fell to 8.6 nights in 2017 from 9.1 nights in 2016. A total of 531,424 foreign nationals visited the island when compared to 475,297 in 2016. Contributing to the higher values were increased arrivals from United States of America (11.2%), Canada (8.9%), Europe (23.9%) and Latin America (15.8%).”

Value added for the Transport, Storage & Communication industry grew by 1.1%. This was the result of increased activities in the transport sub-group. This sub-group benefited from an increase in the volume of cargo moving through the ports as well as the number of passengers moving through the two international airports. However, there was a fall in the post & telecommunications sub-group.

The Finance & Insurance Services industry grew by 0.9%. There were increases in the sub-industries, monetary institutions and advances as at September 2017 for commercial banks grew by 27.5% for the third quarter when compared to the similar period of 2016. However, the stock of deposits at the end of September 2017 grew by 30.1% when compared to the similar period of 2016. The sub-industry, other financial intermediation remained
relatively unchanged.

Value added for the Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities industry grew by 0.6%, when compared to the similar quarter of 2016. Both the real estate and business activities sub-industries recorded improved performances. Growth in the business activities sub-industry was positively impacted by the renting of machinery & equipment, investigation & security activities and business services n.e.c.