KINGSTON, Jamaica, May 31, CMC – The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) says the island’s economy grew by an 2.7 per cent during the first quarter of this year largely due to the external demand for Jamaica’s tourism product.
In addition, the PIOJ said that the improved position was also due to the resumption of operations at the Jamalco Alumina plant during the July to September 2022 quarter, following its closure in August 2021, due to fire.
“Alumina production grew by 197.1 per cent, due to the resumption of production at the Jamalco alumina plant. Crude Bauxite production declined by 33.2 per cent due to a falloff in demand,” PIOJ Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry said.
“The preliminary out-turn for the quarter resulted in growth of 4.3 per cent for fiscal year 2022/23 and represents full recovery in overall output levels from the impact of COVID-19, one year before the projected recovery date of fiscal year 2023/24,” said Henry.
He told reporters that the eighth consecutive quarter of growth was also facilitated by the continued recovery in the economies of Jamaica’s main trading partners.
Henry said a breakdown of the out-turn shows that the Services Industry grew by an estimated 3.8 per cent. However, the Goods Producing Industry contracted by 0.7 per cent.
The Services Industry out-turn reflected growth in all sub-sectors, buoyed by those associated with travel and tourism with Hotels and Restaurants, up 30.8 per cent, followed by Transport, Storage and Communication, 4.3 per cent.
PIOJ said that there were also positive growth in the Finance and Insurance Services, Electricity and Water Supply,and Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repair and Installation of Machinery.
Henry said that ‘Mining and Quarrying’ grew by an estimated 95.9 per cent, due to higher alumina output, which outweighed a contraction in crude bauxite production.
Henry told reporters that the economy is projected to grow in the range of two to three per cent based on the continuation of the growth momentum in most industries.
“Specifically, growth during this period is expected to be driven by continued strengthening of the mining and quarrying industry, due to the resumption of full operations at the Jamalco Alumina plant; increased domestic demand, due to an estimated expansion in employment levels; and continued recovery in the global economy, despite the geopolitical challenges.”