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Economy rebounding but impending hurricane season triggers caution

Published:Wednesday | May 20, 2015 | 6:48 PM

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting a rebound in the economy following two consecutive quarters of decline, but is cautioning that the impending hurricane season could hamper growth.

It says in the January to March 2015 quarter, real Gross Domestic Product grew by an estimated 0.3 per cent.

The growth figure was released this morning by the Director General of the PIOJ, Colin Bullock, during the Institute’s quarterly press briefing.

The PIOJ is crediting a rise in visitor arrivals and increased construction activities, among the reasons for the rebound in the economy.

Growth in the Services Industry was up 0.6 per cent, but the Goods Producing Industry contracted by 0.7 per cent.

Within the Goods Producing Industry, increases were recorded for Construction, which was up, 1.4 per cent, and Mining & Quarrying, up 0.2 per cent.

The areas of decline were: Agriculture, down, 0.5 per cent and Manufacturing, down 3.1 per cent.

However, for Services, six of the eight industries grew.

The areas of decline were: Producers of Government Services, which was down 0.2 per cent and Electricity & Water Supply, down 2.8 per cent.   

Bullock says short-term prospects for growth within the upcoming quarter for April to June remain positive as he says continued strengthening in the performance of most industries should spur growth.

In addition, he says improved confidence levels based on the anticipated conclusion of another successful quarterly review by the International Monetary Fund should also impact positively on economic performance.