The economy is back in recession.
This after it declined in the October to December quarter – the second consecutive quarter of decline.
The disclosure was made during a review of the fourth quarter of 2014 by Director General of The Planning Institute of Jamaica, PIOJ, Colin Bullock, earlier this afternoon.
Mr. Bullock says the PIOJ’s preliminary estimates show that the economy contracted by by zero-point-3 percent in the October to December quarter.
This follows a contraction of 1-point-4 percent in the July to September quarter.
This has pushed the economy back into recession. Two consecutive quarters of economic decline in GDP is the definition of a recession.
The PIOJ Director General says the decline is the result of a spillover in the weakness in agriculture as a result of the severe drought experienced in the September quarter.
Mr. Bullock also pointed to other factors which resulted in the poor economic performance.
The Goods Producing Industry declined by 3-point-7 percent.
This was mainly the result of a contraction in Agriculture of 11 percent.
Mining and Quarrying as well as Manufacturing also recorded declines.
Construction was the only sector within the goods producing industry to record growth – that being 1-point-2 percent.
Meanwhile, the Services Industry recorded growth of zero-point-7 percent.
The growth in services was led by Hotels and Returants – up 5-point-4 percent, and Transport Storage and Communication – up 1-point-6 percent.
All other sectors within the services industry recorded growth with the exception of Electricity and Watter Supply – down 2-point-7 percent, and Producers of Government Services – down zero-point-2 percent.
Turning to the outlook for the current January to March quarter, Mr. Bullock says the worst has passed.