October 1, 2020
According the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), the Jamaican economy declined by 18.4% in the second quarter of 2020 when compared to the similar quarter of 2019. This downward movement resulted from declines in both the Services Industries (20.3%) and the Goods Producing Industries (12.7%). The performance of the economy was largely due to the negative impact of the continued spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures implemented island wide to limit its spread. Other factors that contributed to the decline in the economy were drought conditions which largely affected the Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing industry, and the continued negative impact of the closure of Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) Alpart on the Mining & Quarrying industry.
In the Services Industries, seven of the eight industries recorded declines: Electricity & Water Supply (8.7%), Wholesale & Retail Trade; Repairs; Installation of Machinery & Equipment (15.6%), Hotels & Restaurants (85.6%), Transport, Storage & Communication (20.8%), Finance & Insurance Services (5.5%), Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities (5.5%) and Other Services (44.3%). Conversely, the Producers of Government Services industry, grew by 0.2%.
Within the Goods Producing Industries, lower levels of output were recorded for all industries: Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing (7.9%), Mining & Quarrying (25.2%), Manufacturing (11.8%) and Construction (14.5%).
The fall in the Hotels & Restaurants industry was due to declines in the groups: hotels & other short stay accommodation and restaurants, bars and canteens. The performance of the industry was largely due to the closure of the island’s sea and airports to incoming passengers between March 21, 2020 and June 15, 2020 to limit the risk of imported COVID-19 cases. This resulted in a 99.1% decrease in foreign national arrivals which moved from 635,075 in 2019 to 5,570 in 2020.
The performance of the Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing industry was impacted by drought conditions and reduced demand resulting from the closure of hotels and some restaurants. The Construction industry recorded declines for all groups: building construction, civil engineering and building installation. Lower output levels were recorded for the Manufacturing industry as a result of declines in the sub-industries Food, Beverages & Tobacco (8.6%) and Other Manufacturing (16.5%).
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