Jamaican economy grew by 3.4% in December quarter Loop Jamaica

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Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The Jamaican economy grew by 3.4 per cent in the October to December quarter of 2022 compared to the last quarter of 2021, according to preliminary estimates released today by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

PIOJ director general Dr Wayne Henry said industries returning to surpassing pre-COVID levels and increased alumina production were among the factors resulting in the improved performance.

The PIOJ estimates showed that the goods-producing industry increased by 4.3 per cent while the services industry increased by three per cent.

“The improved performance of the economy reflected the positive impact of a strengthening of economic activity as some industries showed signs of returning to and surpassing their pre-COVID levels of output”, Dr Henry said at a media briefing Tuesday morning.

Increased external demand, the ramping up of alumina production by a major producer, JAMALCO, and increased business and consumer confidence also contributed to the improved economic performance, the PIOJ head said.

Three out of the four sectors of the goods-producing industry grew during the last quarter of 2022 compared to the similar period in 2021. These were mining and quarrying; agriculture, forestry and fishing; and manufacturing. Only construction showed a decrease in production during the period.

The opening of the JAMALCO alumina refinery in Clarendon impacted on the economy with the mining and quarrying sector growing by 115 per cent in the last quarter of 2022 compared with the last quarter of 2021.

However, crude bauxite production fell by 12.8 per cent during the comparative quarter.

Agricultural crops that had significantly higher output during the quarter include plantains, yams, cereals and fruits, which had increased output of between seven and 20 per cent.

Traditional crops showed an increased output of 19 per cent, which included sugar cane up by 36 per cent, bananas up 20 per cent and coffee up 12 per cent.

Cocoa production declined by 36 per cent during the period.

There were also increases in poultry and egg production during the period of nearly six per cent and eight per cent respectively, Dr Henry disclosed.

Of note, sugar production increased by 53 per cent while rum and alcohol production was down 36 per cent.

Meanwhile, there were significant increases in the production of petroleum products. These included liquid petroleum gas (LPG) up by 1070 per cent; gasoline 117 per cent; automotive diesel oil 108 per cent and fuel oil 85 per cent

Also the construction industry declined by 4.7 percent during the period with cement production declining by 16 per cent.