Jamaica’s economy declined by 8.3% for the last quarter of 2020 compared to the same period for 2019.

That’s according to the official figures released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica, STATIN.

STATIN says this was driven primarily by the measures required to contain the spread of COVID-19 on the island.

However, the STATIN figures suggest the economy is showing signs of recovery.

Wayne Walker tells us more.

STATIN says the decline was largely due to a fall in the Services Industries of 11.1%.

All Services Industries fell, with the exception of the Producers of Government Services which grew by 0.2%. 

STATIN says the measures implemented to limit the spread of COVID-19 as well as the decline in the global travel industry had a significant impact on this segment of the economy. 

The industry that primarily contributed to the decline was Hotels and Restaurants which fell by a staggering 54%.

This was followed by other services which declined by 22%.

However, the Goods Producing Industries grew by 0.2% for the period, mainly due to increased output levels in Construction which expanded by 6.3%.

Mining which had previously been in almost terminal decline due to the closure of the Alpart plant in St. Elizabeth actually improved in the fourth quarter by 6.3%. 

Agriculture and Manufacturing declined by 7.2% and 0.4% respectively.

However, there’re signs of economic recovery.

According to STATIN, the economy increased by 0.9% for the fourth quarter of 2020 when compared to the previous quarter. 

This was a continuation of the growth recorded in the third quarter when compared to the second and was influenced by the relaxation in some of the measures instituted since March to limit the spread of COVID-19.

STATIN says preliminary estimates showed that the Gross value added declined by nearly 10% for the calendar year 2020. 

This decline occurred after seven consecutive years of growth and largely reflects the impact of COVID-19 on the Jamaican economy.