Chevon Campbell

The economy continues to sink as the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic grips the country.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica, PIOJ, reported today that the economy plunged by 11%in the July to September Quarter of 2020 when compared to 2019.

PIOJ Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry, speaking at media briefing this afternoon, says this is directly linked to a nearly 800% surge in COVID-19 cases over the period.

The Planning Institute is expecting that the sharp decline in the economy will persist for the rest of the calendar year and Fiscal Year 2020/2021.

Due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the PIOJ is projecting that the economy plunged by 11% in the July to September quarter.
This is mainly linked to a big surge in COVID-19 cases and attendant measures to control its spread.

This decline follows an 18% contraction from the previous quarter ending June.

According to Dr. Henry nearly all sectors of the Jamaican economy have contracted.

However, the construction sector is projected to grow by 5% for the period.

The PIOJ says this is due to a relatively early reopening compared to other segments of the economy.

But, Dr. Henry says the short term outlook for the country remains negative due to COVID-19 and a very active hurricane season.

The PIOJ is projecting that for the October to December quarter, the country will see a further contraction of 9 to 11% and 10 to 12% for the year.

However, Dr. Henry is expecting a faster recovery compared to the 2008 financial crisis due to better fiscal fundamentals.

Meanwhile, Dr. Henry says the approach to achieve Jamaica’s sustainable development goals under the Vision 2030 initiative will also be reviewed due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

He says the government is using this opportunity to make structural changes coming out of the review now underway.

The PIOJ Director General says the government will seek to create a more equitable post-COVID-19 society.

Dr. Wayne Henry, Director General of the Planning Institute of Jamaica.