Date: April 02, 2019
According the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, “the Jamaican economy grew by 2.0 percent during the fourth quarter of 2018 when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2017. This growth was attributed in both the Services Industries and the Goods Producing Industries of 1.0 percent and 4.0 percent respectively.”
Growth was achieved in all the Goods Producing Industries namely Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (3.1%), Mining and Quarrying (25%), Manufacturing (2%) and Construction (3.7%). It was noted by STATIN that, “the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing industry was impacted by favourable weather conditions which resulted in higher crop yields.” Furthermore, the reopening of Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) Alpart refinery was the main contributor to the growth in the Mining and Quarrying industry. On the other hand, higher output in the Manufacturing industry was due largely to increases in both sub-industries that is Food, Beverages and Tobacco by 2 percent influenced mainly by increased production in meat and meat products, processing and preservation of fruits and vegetables and Other Manufacturing also by 2 percent due to increased production in chemicals and chemical products, refined petroleum products and non-metallic mineral products.
As a result of higher levels of activities in building construction, civil engineering and building installation, the Construction industry improved. “The increase in building construction was due to residential and non-residential construction as there was an increase in housing and the construction of office space for commercial purposes,” as indicated by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica. Civil engineering activities were impacted by the continued expansion of road infrastructure, as work associated with the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP) and the South Coast Highway Improvement Project were the major contributors to the growth experienced.
With respect to the Services Industry, improvement was indicated with the exception of Electricity and Water Supply which recorded a 0.3 percent decline. The continued road rehabilitation works negatively affected the supply of water to consumer. STATIN further stated that, “increased value added was recorded for: Wholesale & Retail Trade; Repairs; Installation of Machinery & Equipment (1.6 per cent); Hotels & Restaurants (2.8 per cent), Transport, Storage & Communication (1.9 per cent), Finance & Insurance Services (0.8 per cent), Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities (0.7 per cent), Producers of Government Services (0.1%) and Other Services (0.8 per cent).
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