Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Growth in economy dips below projected target

Published:Thursday | May 11, 2017 | 5:00 AM
Dr Wayne Henry

 

The 1.6 per cent gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the recently concluded 2016-2017 financial year has been revised downwards to 1.2 per cent.

Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Dr Wayne Henry said that the outlook has been revised owing to fresh data coming in to the institute.

The adjustment has been made against the background of data analysed for four industries.

Henry told members of Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee yesterday that the growth projection for the agriculture sector had dipped from 15.7 per cent to 11.9 per cent.

"From October to December, we had the heavy rainfall, which delayed planting and pushed it back to the new year as well as damaged some of the crops that were in the ground," he said.

He also noted that the mining sector, which was projected to shrink by 3.7 per cent, contracted by 5.7 per cent instead.

Henry said that the outturn for the hotel and restaurant sector was lower for the January to April quarter when compared with the similar period in 2016.

The PIOJ boss also reported a fall-off in the electricity and water sector for the first quarter of 2017 when compared with the previous year, which affected the overall GDP growth outturn.

"The good news is, for both agriculture as well as mining, we are expecting activities to restart in the industries," he said.

Henry shared that the forecast going forward for 2017-2018 has not changed, with a projected 2.3 per cent GDP growth and two to three per cent range in the medium term up to 2021.

edmond.campbell@gleanerjm.com