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Statin reports 3Q contraction of 2.3%

Published:Wednesday | January 20, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Economic activity in the third quarter of 2009 was marginally better, by 0.7 per cent, than the June period, but output fell 2.3 per cent in a year-on-year comparison.

In the September 2009 quarter, Statin registered $123.25 billion of real gross domestic product, pushing total output for the nine months of the calendar year to $368.15 billion, with the third quarter as the best performing period.

Its assessment was rosier than the Planning Institute of Jamaica's, which in November reported a 3.1 per cent contraction in the real sector.

Statin's figures are considered the final arbiter on economic performance.

Jamaica has been in recession for two years, with different estimates of when the country is likely to emerge from the downturn.

Jamaican authorities are projecting a half-point growth in 2010, while the International Monetary Fund sees a further contraction of 0.2 per cent followed by growth in 2011.

Statin said the 0.7 per cent quarterly improvement at September was the result of increased activity in the goods producing sector - led by manufacturing which grew 3.9 per cent and agriculture which rose 2.8 per cent.

Relative to the 2008 third quarter, however, when total output was estimated at $126 billion, the two sectors performed poorly, each falling by more than three per cent.

The decline, however, was led by mining and quarrying whose output was down by 58 per cent, year on year, to erase all gains from agriculture's 12 per cent increase.

Within the services sector, positive performances were recorded by electricity and water, up 5.6 per cent; hotels and restaurants 1.9 per cent; finance and insurance services 1.9 per cent; real estate, renting and business activities 0.5 per cent; and other services 0.1 per cent.