The Bank of Jamaica, BOJ, says the country’s economic prospects remain uncertain despite positive trends both locally and on the global stage regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s according to the Central Bank’s report for the quarter ending March 2021, that was released today.

However, the BOJ still predicts the country will return to pre-COVID economic levels by March 2023.

Nora Gaye Banton has more in this report.

The BoJ says developments in the March 2021 quarter continued to be impacted by the ongoing, COVID-19 crisis in Jamaica and the world.

It says despite signs of improvement in economic activity and increased optimism given the deployment of the COVID-19 vaccines, the prospects for the Jamaican economy continues to be characterized by uncertainty.

This is particularly in the context of a recent surge in COVID-19 cases domestically and internationally as well as more stringent measures taken by governments around the world to contain the virus spread.

The Central Bank says the Jamaican economy is estimated to have contracted in the range of 5% to 7% for the March 2021 quarter.

This is a relative improvement compared to the contraction of 8.3% recorded for the December 2020 quarter.

Real GDP is still projected to contract between 10% and 12% but recover partially in the next fiscal year.

The BOJ says the risks to its growth forecast remains balanced.

It says Real GDP is anticipated to return to its pre-COVID level in the March 2023 quarter.

However, over the next three years GDP growth is projected to average in the range 2% to 4% per year, which is relatively in line with previous projections.