The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ)
Review of Economic Performance
July – September 2017
According to the PIOJ, real GDP grew by 0.9% relative to the comparative quarter in 2016. This was attributed to an estimated increase of 1.1% in the Services Industry and 0.1% increase the Goods Producing Industry.
Within the Goods Producing Industry, there was an increase in real value added for Manufacturing (1.5%) and Construction (1.3%). The Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing industry was flat, while there was a contraction of 8.6% in Mining and Quarrying industry.
All subcategories of the Services Industry recorded growth for the third quarter. The industries which saw the largest growth were Hotels and Restaurants (5.5%), Finance & Insurance Services recorded a 1.4% expansion, and Electricity & Water Supply up 2.6%.
For the January to September 2017 period PIOJ reported that real GDP was estimated to have increased by 0.3%. The service industry was estimated to have expanded by 0.8%, while the Goods Producing Industry was forecasted to decline by 1.4%. The industries recording the greatest increases were Manufacture, Hotels & Restaurant, Electricity & Water Supply and Finance & Insurance Services.
The PIOJ projects a growth rate of 1.5-2% for the 2017/2018 fiscal year, this was revised down from the previous estimate of 2-3% due to a later than expected start in Alpart bauxite production.
Change in Gross Domestic Product and Contribution to Growth at Constant Prices
|% Change||% Point Contribution|
Goods Producing Industry
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Mining and Quarrying
Electricity and Water Supply
Transportation, Storage and Communication
Wholesale & Retail Trade, Repair
Finance & Insurance Services
Real Estate, Renting & Business Services
Producers of Government Services
Hotels & Restaurants
Other Macroeconomic Highlights:
Inflation for the quarter was 1.6% according to the PIOJ. This was attributed to increases in the divisions Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas & Other (up 1.8%), and Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages (up 2.3%).
There was also improvement in the labour market according to the PIOJ. This, as the total labour force as at July 2017 increased by 8000 persons to 1,371,200 persons compared to 1,216,000 in 2016. In addition, the unemployment rate for July 2017 was 11.3% compared with 12.9% in July 2016.
Post Quarter Prospects
With regards to “Post Quarter Prospects,” PIOJ noted that, “preliminary data revealed that airport arrivals for October 2017 increased by 18.7% relative to October 2016.” This was due to an increase in cruise passenger arrivals by 66.3% reflecting diversions from hurricane affected Caribbean islands.