Economy declines for second consecutive quarter
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) has confirmed that there was a 0.3 per cent contraction in the economy during the October to December 2014 quarter.
This is the second consecutive period of decline.
The contraction is expected to push real gross domestic product (GDP) growth for fiscal year 2014-15 within a range of zero to one per cent, even as the PIOJ projects economic growth of 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent for the January to March 2015 quarter.
PIOJ Director General Colin Bullock says the performance largely reflected lower value added for the goods-producing industry due to lagged impact of drought conditions specifically on agriculture.
It also represented lower-than-anticipated alumina production due to technical challenges, longer-than-anticipated closure of the Petrojam oil refinery and slower-than-anticipated implementation of public- and private-sector construction projects.
Bullock was speaking at a press briefing in New Kingston yesterday as he reviewed the economic performance for the quarter to December 2014.