Jamaica’s economy grew 5.7% in the June quarter; service industry leads the way – PIOJ

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Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Wayne Henry.JIS File Photo (Adrian Walker)

KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaican economy grew an estimated 5.7% in the April to June quarter of 2022, according to the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

At the planning institute’s quarterly press conference on Thursday, PIOJ chief executive Dr Wayne Henry said growth had been spurred by 7.7% growth in the service industry, despite the contraction of the goods-producing industry by 0.4%.

It revealed that all sub-sectors of the service industry recorded higher results during the period under review.

These, he informed, were dominated by hotels and restaurants, which grew by around 55.4%, reflecting a surge in visitor arrivals from Jamaica’s main source markets.

He further noted that the result largely reflected the impact of removing COVID-19 pandemic management measures. Dr Henry said arrivals of foreign nationals from April to May 2022 totaled 399,310 visitors, up 110%. June data was not yet available.

He also indicated that “transportation, storage and communication” increased by 10%, due to the increase in the transport and storage and communication components.

“Improved performance was recorded for the air transport sub-component, largely reflecting an 82.5% increase in passenger movements due to departures, up 79.6%, and arrivals, up 81.9%,” the chief executive told reporters.

Positive results were also recorded for the wholesale and retail trade; machinery repair and installation (WRTRIM), up 5.8%; electricity and water supply, up 2%; and ‘financial and insurance services’, up 0.5 percent.

“Performance improvement [in the Services Industry] largely reflects the strength of the continued recovery from the relatively weak production levels experienced in the corresponding quarter of 2021, when some of the restrictive COVID-19 management measures were still in effect,” Dr. Henry pointed out.

The economy is estimated to have grown by 6.1% in the first six months of 2022, from January to June.

Dr Henry said the service industry grew by 8.1%, while the goods-producing industry remained flat.

He said the short-term economic outlook is positive, with growth expected to be between 2% and 3% for the July-September quarter.

Dr Henry said this should boost growth in the 2022/23 financial year between 3 and 5%.

“It should be noted, however, that the economy is not expected to reach pre-COVID GDP [gross domestic product] levels until the 2023/24 financial year,” he added.

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