PIOJ Reports Strong Economic Growth For July To September

Jamaica continues to show positive signs of recovering from the economic fallout caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, after recording an estimated 6.3 per cent growth for the July to September quarter, relative to the corresponding period last year.

Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Dr. Wayne Henry, said the services industry is estimated to have increased by 7.3 per cent, and the goods-producing industry by about 2.8 per cent.

He was speaking during the PIOJ’s digital quarterly media briefing on Wednesday, November 24.

Dr. Henry said the estimated out-turn for the review period largely reflected the impact of the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures globally, which facilitated increased domestic and external demand, resulting in a general uptick in economic activities and increased operating hours for businesses, which enabled greater production output. The relaxation also triggered higher levels of employment, as firms resumed or ramped up operations, and increased business confidence associated with the prospects for strengthened economic out-turn in the short to medium term.

Dr. Henry advised that all service industry sub-industries grew, led by ‘hotels and restaurants’, which increased by an estimated 114.7 per cent.

He said the out-turn for that subsector was spurred by a 293.3 per cent increase in stopover visitor arrivals for July and August.

He further indicated that cruise passenger arrivals, which resumed in August, totalled 8,379 from five ships docking in August and September, relative to none during the corresponding period of 2020.

Additionally, he said visitor expenditure was estimated to have increased by 186.3 per cent to US$463.4 million for July and August.

Dr. Henry told journalists that the ‘transport, storage and communication’ subsector grew an estimated nine per cent, mainly due to higher levels of activities.

These include improvement in the air transport component, largely reflecting growth in passenger movement, which was up 263.9 per cent. Departures were up 269 per cent, and arrivals up 256.5 per cent; there were increased maritime transport activities, reflecting a six per cent increase in cargo handled at the heavier weighted Port of Kingston.

The growth in the ‘communication’ component was driven by the reopening of businesses, particularly in the tourism sector.

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