The Jamaican economy continues on a path of growth.
Although weak, the positive GDP numbers marks five consecutive fiscal years of growth.
According to the Planning Institute of Jamaica, PIOJ, the economy grew by just under one percent in the fiscal year just ended March 31 this year.
The PIOJ’s preliminary information is projecting a stronger GDP growth rate of two to three percent for this fiscal year, 2018/2019.
The update was given by PIOJ Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, at today’s sitting of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, PAAC.
PIOJ Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, says preliminary growth figures suggest a strong fourth quarter of the fiscal year 2017-2018 which ended in March.
This balanced out lower than projected growth numbers for the first two quarters.
He says growth for the last fiscal year was boosted mainly by the reopened Alpart bauxite plant in St. Elizabeth along with increases in tourism.
However, declines in agriculture due to heavy rains and flooding stymied the country’s GDP. Dr. Henry is expecting far more substantial growth this fiscal year.
The mining and quarrying industries are expected to be the primary drivers, mostly predicated on further expansions at Alpart.
Increases in tourism and a rebounding agriculture sector are also expected to positively impact Jamaica’s growth.
However, Dr. Henry says adverse weather and concerns about US sanctions against the Russian company, UC Rusal, by the US could impact growth projections.