Jamaica’s economy has finally emerged from the shadows of the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s according to the latest projections from the Planning Institute of Jamaica, PIOJ.

It’s also anticipated that the country has returned to pre-pandemic employment levels.

Mahiri Stewart tells us more.

Back to real growth!

After nearly two years of pandemic recovery, the PIOJ projects that the Jamaican economy is now on equal footing with 2019 as of the recently concluded October to December Quarter.

This puts Jamaica’s economic turnaround well ahead of what was previously anticipated.

For the first time in several quarters, tourism was not the stand-out performer.

In terms of overall percentage improvement mining and quarrying saw a 116 per cent surge. This, as many bauxite operations, come back online after a period of low to no production.

On the goods-producing side, every sector grew except for construction which saw a decline of just under five per cent.

For the services industry, all but one sector grew with wholesale and retail trade suffering a marginal decline of 1.3 per cent. However, tourism remains the country’s best overall success story.

For October to December, the sector is projecting a robust 24 per cent growth.

While this is lower than the previous quarters which have seen upwards of quadruple-digit numbers, it reflects a normalization of the tourism market after its near-complete collapse caused by the pandemic.

The PIOJ is also anticipating that in short order the country will surpass it’s pre-Covid-19 growth figures.

But, this is tempered by slowing momentum as Jamaica moves from recovery into meaningful economic progress.

Meanwhile, official figures for employment performance will not be available till the next fiscal year due to the ongoing census data collection.

However, the PIOJ’s expectations are for the country to have returned to pre-pandemic employment levels as of the just concluded quarter.