PIOJ reports 0.1 per cent fourth-quarter growth

Director-General for the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr Wayne Henry addresses journalists during Tuesday’s (Feb 25) quarterly media briefing. At left is Senior Director for the PIOJ’s Economic Planning, Research and Policy Logistics Division, James Stewart.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting estimated fourth quarter calendar year growth of 0.1 per cent, between October and December 2019, relative to the corresponding period in 2018.

This, consequent on estimated growth of 1.8 per cent in the services industry, despite a 3.8 per cent contraction in the goods-producing industry, according to PIOJ Director General Dr Wayne Henry.

He was speaking during the PIOJ’s quarterly media briefing at the agency’s head office in New Kingston on Tuesday (Feby 25).

Henry said the December quarter figure, which also represents the third quarter out-turn for the 2019/20 fiscal year, will, subject to Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) ratification, mark a record 20th consecutive period of economic growth for the country.   

He advised that the economy is estimated to have grown by 0.9 per cent during 2019, consequent on the December quarter out-turn, and represents the seventh consecutive year of growth for Jamaica.  

Henry said the December 2019 quarter growth out-turn reflected the combined impact of increased external demand from Jamaica’s main trading partners, which supported growth in exports of some goods and services.

There was also expansion in hotel room and air-seat capacity, which spurred growth in stopover arrivals; more favourable weather conditions, which facilitated increased output per acre for some domestic crops as well as water production; and increased use of financial services, facilitated by lower interest rates and a relatively stable macroeconomic environment.