Economy shrinks 11%
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting that the economy contracted by 11.3 per cent during the July to September quarter, compared to the corresponding period in 2019.
Director General Dr Wayne Henry said that construction increased by an estimated five per cent, while agriculture grew by approximately two per cent during the quarter, relative to last year.
He said that the growth of the subsectors is despite a 3.6 per cent contraction of the goods-producing industry.
Henry said that the upturn in construction was mainly spurred by expenditure on civil engineering activities, including $5.3 billion disbursed by the National Works Agency, relative to $2.7 billion in 2019; and $1.4 billion disbursed by National Road Operating and Constructing Company Limited.
As it relates to out-turns for the other two subsectors under the goods-producing industry, Henry said that mining and quarrying declined by an estimated 22.9 per cent and manufacturing was down by 8.7 per cent.
The services industry contracted by approximately 13 per cent, with activities in hotels and restaurants; transport, storage and communication; wholesale and retail trade; and other areas declining.
Henry noted that the out-turn for hotels and restaurants reflected an 81.8 per cent downturn in stopover arrivals, particularly from Jamaica’s main source markets, the United States, Europe and Canada.
Henry said the economy has contracted by an estimated 10.7 per cent for the first nine months of the calendar year, from January to September.
It is projected to contract within the range of nine to 11 per cent for the October to December quarter, resulting in a 10 to 12 per cent decline in both the 2020 calendar and 2020-21 fiscal year out-turns as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.