Jamaica News: The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is reporting first quarter calendar year growth of 1.7 per cent relative to the corresponding period in 2018.
The out-turn is within the range of the Planning Institute of Jamaica’s (PIOJ) estimate of 1.5 per cent, as reported by Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, at the agency’s quarterly briefing in May.
STATIN’s Director General, Carol Coy, said the January to March growth was spurred by expansion of 1.8 per cent in the services industries, and 1.7 per cent in the goods-producing sector.
She was speaking at the Institute’s quarterly briefing at The Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston on Wednesday (July 17).
Ms. Coy said all goods-producing industries grew during the review quarter with the exception of manufacturing, which declined by 1.4 per cent.
The out-turns for the other subsectors saw mining and quarrying growing by 11.1 per cent; construction, up 3.4 per cent; and agriculture, forestry and fishing, up 0.3 per cent.
Ms. Coy said the growth in mining and quarrying resulted from a 12.7 per cent increase in alumina production, which climbed from 568.9 thousand tonnes in 2018 to 640.9 thousand tonnes in 2019.
She noted, however, that crude bauxite output declined by seven per cent from 845.9 thousand tonnes last year to 786.5 thousand tonnes in 2019, largely due to decreased demand from overseas markets.
“This performance was also reflected in the levels of exports. The quantity of alumina exported increased by seven per cent… however, exports of crude bauxite fell by 11.4 per cent,” she added.
Ms. Coy said the construction industry’s growth resulted from heightened activities in building construction and installation, and civil engineering.
She pointed out that the performance in building construction was mainly influenced by ongoing development and expansion of hotels and residential housing, while civil engineering activities were driven by continued road infrastructure works under the Major Infrastructure Development Programme (MIDP).
Meanwhile, value-added for manufacturing fell due to a 3.4 per cent decline in the production of refined petroleum and non-metallic mineral products.
“For approximately three weeks during the quarter, the [Petrojam] refinery was closed for maintenance. During the review period, the refinery operated at 79 per cent of its capacity when compared to 96.2 per cent in 2018,” the STATIN Director General said.
She further pointed out that a decline in crude petroleum importation led to lower outputs for major by-products such as automotive diesel oil, heavy fuel oil, and gasolene.
Meanwhile, Ms. Coy said all eight services industries grew, with hotels and restaurants topping the group with a 7.3 per cent out-turn. This, she pointed out, resulted from a 13.4 per cent increase in visitor arrivals.
Finance and insurance services grew by 2.5 per cent; electricity and water, up 1.9 per cent; other services (inclusive of tourism attractions), up 1.8 per cent; wholesale and retail trade, repairs and installation of machinery and equipment, up 1.3 per cent; transport, storage and communication, up 1.2 per cent; real estate, renting and business activities, up one per cent; and producers of government services, up 0.2 per cent.
Ms. Coy further advised that inflation fell by one per cent in June. Calendar year-to-date inflation stands at 1.4 per cent; while the fiscal year-to-date figure is at 0.8 per cent.
Source: JIS News
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