‘Don’t Scoff at Growth Numbers’, says PIOJ Director-General

Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica, PIOJ, Dr. Wayne Henry, is urging Jamaicans not to dismiss the country’s current growth numbers.

This, as the economy has grown by 1.8 percent for the April to June quarter of 2018.

Dr. Henry says while not as strong as it could be, the growth is exceptional for a country with its current fiscal realities.

Fourteen quarters or three-and-a-half-years of positive economic growth. And of those 14 quarters, the April to June one of this year is the strongest. It’s the highest growth for a quarter in the last two years.

PIOJ Director-General, Dr. Wayne Henry, says this isn’t something to scoff at.

Growth in the April to June quarter was driven primarily by gains in agriculture which rebounded to 10 percent after consecutive periods of decline.

Mining also saw a 30-percent improvement this quarter driven by developments at the Alpart bauxite alumina plant in St. Elizabeth.

Construction was another major contributor, growing by 1.2 for the quarter.

However, manufacturing declined by 0.4 percent and hotel and restaurants by 1.5 percent.

These are the only two categories which declined for the quarter.

Dr. Henry says Jamaicans must recognize what has been achieved over the last four years.

The country has so far grown by 1.6 percent of GDP between January and June.

And, Director of Economic Planning at the PIOJ, James Stewart, says this is expected to pick up by the end of the year.

However, the PIOJ says weather-related shocks due to drought conditions in some parishes could affect the outturn.

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