Jamaica back in recession?
The Jamaican economy recorded its second quarter of decline in June, according to new data produced by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin).
Statin's director general, Dr Sonia Jackson, did not respond to requests for comment up to press time on whether it classifies the Jamaican economy as being back in recession.
The two markers generally used by economists for the classification are two consecutive quarters of GDP contraction or a significant spike in the unemployment rate in a one-year period.
On the two measures, Jamaica appears to qualify.
The economy contracted by 0.1 per cent in the March quarter and again by 0.2 per cent in June, relative to the 2011 periods. Additionally, the unemployment rate has spiked by about two percentage points.
Unemployment hit 14.3 per cent in the April 2012 survey; the rate was 12.8 per cent in January 2011 and 12.3 per cent in July 2011. Statin's website reports no labour force data for April 2011.
Both goods and services GDP decline in the June quarter - by 0.1 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively.
Mining and quarrying declined by 10.2 per cent, manufacture 1.9 per cent and construction 3.4 per cent in the goods sector. Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing bucked the trend to grow by 9.5 per cent.
In the services segment, there were also improvements in tourism, the distribution sector, machinery and equipment, and electricity and water.
The June quarter expanded 0.4 per cent when compared to the March quarter, Statin said.
Economic activity for the March quarter valued in real terms at US$182.2 billion, and at J$182.9 billion for the June quarter.