Sun | Nov 29, 2020

Jamaica continues trend of negative growth

Published:Thursday | August 22, 2013 | 12:00 AM

The Jamaican economy has continued in a recession as data from the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) have confirmed a fifth consecutive quarter of negative growth.

A recession is technically defined as at least two consecutive quarters of decline in gross domestic product (GDP).

At its quarterly press briefing yesterday, the BOJ reported that real GDP is estimated to have declined during the April to June quarter.

The contraction, though reportedly slower than declines in the January to March quarter, continued a trend first started in March last year.

BOJ Governor Brian Wynter is attributing the continued decline to severe drought conditions as well as weak domestic demand.

He said this was because of declines in income and increased unemployment.

FEARS NOT CALMED

Wynter admitted yesterday that securing the agreement with the International Monetary Fund did not put to rest all fears in the market.

However, Wynter projected improvements for the remaining quarters of the current fiscal year. He pointed to improvements in investor confidence, expansion in the global economy, and robust growth in credit to the private sector as areas to drive growth.

He said real GDP growth at the end of the next quarter in September should be between zero and one per cent.

Wynter admitted yesterday that securing the agreement with the International Monetary Fund did not put to rest all fears in the market.

numbers speak

public debt

JUNE 1993

-US$38.26m

JUNE 2003

US$1.12B

JUNE 2013

US$1B

Data compiled by the Bank of Jamaica show that the official Net International Reserves have fluctuated over time, but it was consistently in negative territory between the first quarter of calendar year 1980 and September 1993.