Jamaica Estimates Growth of 1.5% in First Quarter of 2019

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The Jamaican economy grew by an estimated 1.5% during the period January – March 2019, relative to the same period in 2018.

Speaking at a media briefing this morning, Director of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), Dr. Wayne Henry, said the increase was due mainly to an increase of 1.8 % in the Goods Producing Industry and 1.5% in the Services Industry.

“The positive out-turn for the January to March 2019 period largely reflected the impact of increased external demand from Jamaica’s main trading partners which supported increased exports of some goods and services particularly tourism and alumina, increased domestic demand pushed by an increase in employment as well as business and consumer confidence, ” said Henry.

Henry informed that the increases in external and domestic demands were facilitated by expansion in hotel room stock as well as an increase in air seat capacity and flight frequency which facilitated growth in stop-over visitor arrivals in Jamaica.

He added that other contributing factors include higher capacity utilization especially in the mining and quarrying industry and major infrastructure works which include road rehabilitation and expansion projects that are currently underway.

Meanwhile the PIOJ has projected growth within the range of 1% and 2% for fiscal year 2019/20.

“Jamaica is expected to benefit from the improved performance of the global economy which is expected to grow by 3.3% and in particular our main trading partner, the US economy which is expected to grow by 2.3%,” said Henry.

The PIOJ provides preliminary estimates on economic performance for each quarter based on early information available from major data providers.

These estimates are usually updated to reflect the official data provided by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN).