December 31, 2020
According the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN), the Jamaican economy declined by 10.7% in the third quarter of 2020 when compared to the similar quarter of 2019. This downward movement resulted from declines in both the Services Industries (13.1%) and the Goods Producing Industries (3.5%). 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. Such measures included the closure of schools, impositions of curfews, prohibition of activities in places of amusement and bars, the cancellation of entertainment events as well as the facilitation of work from home by some organizations. According to STATIN, “the downturn in the global travel industry due to COVID-19 also negatively affected the local economy with foreign national arrivals declining by 83.5% and no cruise passenger arrivals during the quarter.”
The performance was more pronounced in the Hotels & Restaurants, Transport, Storage & Communication and Other Services industries. There was an 81.8% decline in stopover arrivals to the island and there were no cruise passenger arrivals for the period under review.
In the Services Industries, seven of the eight industries recorded declines: Electricity & Water Supply (7.0%), Wholesale & Retail Trade; Repairs; Installation of Machinery & Equipment (8.1%), Hotels & Restaurants (65.2%), Transport, Storage & Communication (14.8%), Finance & Insurance Services (5.6%), Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities (2.8%) and Other Services (27.0%). Conversely, the Producers of Government Services grew by 0.1%.
Within the Goods Producing Industries, the Manufacturing and Mining & Quarrying industries declined by 10.9% and 20.7% respectively. However, higher levels of output were achieved in Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing (2.5%) and Construction (7.0%).
Decreased output of 8.2% and 14.6% from the Food, Beverages & Tobacco and the Other Manufacturing sub-industries contributed to the decline in the Manufacturing industry. Lower levels of output in the Mining & Quarrying industry were largely attributed to the continued impact from the suspension of production in September 2019 at the Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company (JISCO) Alpart refinery.
The Jamaican economy grew by 8.3% for the third quarter of 2020 when compared to the second quarter of 2020. This stemmed from the relaxation in some of the measures instituted to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the second quarter of the year. The main contributing factor were increases in both the Services and Goods Producing Industries of 8.0% and 9.0% respectively.
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