The Statistical Institute of Jamaica, STATIN says, the Jamaican economy grew by 1.7% in the first quarter of this year.

That’s 0.3% more growth when compared to the 1.4% growth over the corresponding period of 2018.

Some of the stand out sectors are alumina production, construction and finance and insurance services.

In a statement today, STATIN says the increase in the economy was a result of a 1.8% growth in the service industry and a 1.7% growth in the Goods producing industry.

The Manufacturing Industry is the only one that contracted over the period.

The industry shrunk by 1.4%.

All other Goods Producing sectors grew.

This was led by an 11.1% growth in the Mining and Quarrying Industry.

This was due to an increase in Alumina production.

Increased output was recorded for Construction which grew at 3.4% due to building construction and installation and civil construction.

Agriculture, Forest and Fishing also grew.

There was growth in all eight sectors of the service industry.

Hotels and Restaurants showed the largest growth at 7.3%.

It was followed by the Finance and Insurance services which grew by 2.5%.

Meanwhile, President of the Jamaica Manufacturers and Exporters Association, JMEA, Richard Pandohie, says he’s not surprised by the retraction in the manufacturing industry.

Mr. Pandohie says the cost of exports and bureaucratic red tap are a hindrance to growth in the manufacturing sector.

And…Former Finance Minister turned Industry Minister Audley Shaw says Jamaica must strive to achieve the growth it recorded in its glory days.

He says he’s confident the country can sprout again.

He also sought to address a comment made in the print media recently about the growth achieved under the Jamaica Labour Party, JLP, administration of the 1980s.

Audley Shaw, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, speaking yesterday at the Mona School of Business and Management’s media launch of its fourth business conference.-

– Neika Lewis contributed to this report.