The Planning Institute of Jamaica, Review of Economic Performance, October-December 2016

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ)
Review of Economic Performance
October-December 2016

According to the PIOJ, real GDP grew by an estimated 1.3%. The growth was attributed to the Goods producing and Services industry which grew by an estimated 3% and 0.8% respectively.
Within the Goods Producing Industry, increases in real value added for the Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing grew by 16% while Manufacturing and Construction grew by 0.2% and 0.8% respectively, this growth was enough to offset the decline a 12% decline for Mining and Quarrying industry.
Moving to the Services Industry, all subcategories of the industry recorded growth except Government Services which declined by 0.2%, while the Hotels and Restaurants experienced the greatest expansion of 2.7% and Electricity and Water Supply expanded by 2.3%. Both ‘Real Estate, Renting and Business Services’ and ‘Other Services’ grew by 0.5%, while Financial Services and Transportation expanded by 1.5% and 0.8% respectively.

Other Macroeconomic Highlights:
Inflation for the quarter was 0.9% according to the PIOJ. This was attributed to increases in Food & Non Alcoholic Beverages (up 1.4%) and Water, Electricity, Gas & Other fuels (up 1.1%).
Inflation for January 2017 was 0.4%, reflecting higher indices for Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and other Fuels (up 2.3%) due to higher electricity rates and Food & Non Alcoholic Beverages (up 0.2%). This was due to higher prices for meat, bread and cereals. Electricity consumption was up by 2.3%, while electricity sales increased by 2.1%. On the other hand, alumina and crude bauxite production declined by 5.8% and 52.2% respectively. Alumina exports increased by12.8% while crude bauxite exports declined by 38.3%.
There was also improvement in the labour market according to the PIOJ. This as the total Labour force for October 2016 increased by 30,100 persons to 1,355,500 persons compared to October 2015. In addition, the unemployment rate for October 2016 was 12.9% compared with 13.5% in October 2015.
Post Quarter Prospects
With regards to “Post Quarter Prospects,” PIOJ noted that, “preliminary airport arrivals for January 2017 increased by 1.2% relative to January 2016, while cruise passenger arrivals rose by 10.1% relative to that of 2015.”