Sat | Jan 23, 2021

Growth & Jobs | Construction sector sees growth

Published:Tuesday | December 1, 2020 | 12:10 AM
Dr Wayne Henry.
Dr Wayne Henry.

THE PLANNING Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting growth in construction and agriculture, forestry and fishing during the July to September 2020 quarter.

The entity’s director general, Dr Wayne Henry, said that construction increased by an estimated five per cent, while agriculture grew by approximately two per cent.

He said that the growth of the subsectors is despite a 3.6 per cent contraction of the goods-producing industry.

Overall, the economy contracted by 11.3 per cent during the quarter, compared to the corresponding period in 2019.

Dr Henry, who was addressing the PIOJ’s quarterly media briefing recently, said that the upturn in construction was mainly spurred by improvement in the ‘other construction’ component, resulting from increased capital expenditure on civil engineering activities.

These included some $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.

Agriculture

As it relates to agriculture, Dr Henry said that the growth was mainly due to favourable weather conditions, as well as Government initiatives to improve the industry’s output.

Among these are the Productivity Incentive Programme, which provided farmers with seedlings and fertiliser; and the Agriculture Excess Buy-Back Programme, which facilitated an outlet for farmers’ produce due to oversupply from reduced demand consequent on the COVID-19 pandemic.

As it relates to out-turns for the other two subsectors under the goods-producing industry, Dr Henry said that mining and quarrying declined by an estimated 22.9 per cent, and manufacturing was down by 8.7 per cent.

Turning to services, the PIOJ head reported that the industry contracted by approximately 13 per cent, with activities in all subsectors declining.

These include hotels and restaurants, down 63.8 per cent; transport, storage and communication, down 17.4 per cent; wholesale and retail trade, repair and installation of machinery, down 7.5 per cent; electricity and water supply, down 6.9 per cent; and finance and insurance services, down 4.5 per cent.