The Planning Institute of Jamaica, PIOJ, is predicting the economy will grow between two and three percent in the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
That means it’s expecting the economy will grow even more than it will do in the 2016-2017 fiscal year. This, as it’s projecting that the current fiscal year will see growth of between one and 2-percent.
Agriculture remains the most significant driver of economic growth. But there’re fears the sector could be negatively affected by drought.
Director General of the PIOJ, Dr. Wayne Henry, says Jamaica’s short and long term growth prospects look good.
But Dr. Henry says drought conditions affecting some parishes could see a downturn in the sector, beginning as early as April.
Agriculture was the biggest driver of economic growth last year according to the latest figures from the PIOJ, contributing to a record of nine successive quarters of GDP growth.
The agriculture sector recorded 16-percent growth for the fourth quarter last year, between October and December.
The Mining and Quarrying sector was the biggest drag on the country’s economic performance. It declined by 12-percent.
Delays in government projects also ‘constrained’ economic growth.
Dr. Henry was speaking today at a press conference at the PIOJ’s offices on Oxford Road, in New Kingston.
In the meantime, Dr. Henry says unemployment continues to decline marginally.
He says youth unemployment is also on the decline but remains more than double the national average.