The economy is estimated to have grown by 8.1 per cent during the fiscal year 2021/22, reports the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).
Director-General, Dr. Wayne Henry, said that the out-turn, which falls within the entity’s target range of seven to nine per cent, reflects improved performances in all goods-producing and service industry subsectors, except mining and quarrying, which were contracted by an estimated 39.8 per cent.
He noted that the contraction was mainly due to the closure of Jamalco’s alumina plant in Clarendon, which was damaged by fire last August.
The Director-General said the expansion in economic activity for the fiscal year was spurred, in part, by an estimated six per cent growth for the January to March 2022 quarter.
He was speaking during the PIOJ’s digital quarterly media briefing on Wednesday, June 1.
The 2021/22 out-turn was buoyed by estimated growth of 9.6 per cent in the services industry and three per cent in the goods-producing industry.
The standout subsectors were – ‘Hotels and Restaurants’, up 125 per cent; ‘Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing’, up 11.2 per cent; ‘Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repair and Installation of Machinery and Equipment, up 10.9 per cent; ‘Transport, Storage and Communication’, up 10.1 per cent; and ‘Other Services’, up 14.5 per cent.
He noted that the March 2022 quarter’s positive out-turn was fueled by estimated services industry growth of 8.9 per cent, despite the goods-producing industry’s declining by 2.1 per cent.
He noted that the performance largely reflected the impact of several factors, among these was increased external demand, especially for Jamaica’s tourism product.
Dr. Henry also cited increased domestic demand associated with higher levels of employment, and operational hours as more industries gradually returned to normalcy.
Dr. Henry said, however, that several factors tempered further economic growth during the review period.
In addition to the contraction in mining and quarrying, due to the Jamalco plant closure, other factors included a spike in COVID-19 cases globally and locally in January, “which tempered the pace of increase in demand and worsened the supply chain disruption,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Dr. Henry said growth for 2022/23 is projected within the range of two to five per cent.