Jamaica records more economic decline

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) says Jamaica recorded an 11.3 per cent economic decline for the second quarter when compared to the same period last year.

In its quarterly briefing on Wednesday, the PIOJ said that the continued contractions during the July to September period, stem from several adverse impacts, including those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, lower outturns from the mining and quarrying industry due to the temporary closure of the JISCO/Apart alumina refinery, weakened business and consumer confidence associated with uncertainties regarding the duration and impact of the pandemic.

COVID-19 pandemic

The situation was also exacerbated by the reductions in income due to job losses and reduced work hours.

The PIOJ said that many of the major industries, such as those in the service industries, especially the hotel and restaurants sector, continued to experience decline during the three-month period.

However, a further decline during this period was tempered by growth in the agriculture sector (up 2.0 per cent) along with an uptick in construction activities due to some exemptions from imposed measures and the phased reopening of the economy.

“As we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, there is still a lot of uncertainty globally. In our case, we have been managing the pandemic fairly well, and I think as we continue to do that we may see a slowing in the pace of the decline throughout the short-term,” said PIOJ director general, Dr Wayne Henry.

The PIOJ in its preliminary estimates further said that there was a 10.7 per cent decrease in the country’s real gross domestic product (GDP) for the first nine months of this year.

— CMC