Economic growth of 2.0% to 3.0% forecasted
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is expressing confidence in further economic growth during the current April to June quarter.
PIOJ Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry projects that real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the April to June quarter should be in the range of 2.0% to 3.0% over April–June 2022. For the fiscal year 2023/2024 real GDP is projected to grow within the range of 1.0% to 3.0%.
Speaking at the PIOJ’s quarterly news briefing earlier this week, Dr Henry reported, “The prospects for the overall economy in the short-term are positive based on the continuation of the recovery process relative to the performance in the corresponding period of 2022, the continued strengthening of the Mining & Quarrying industry due to the resumption of full operations at the Jamalco Alumina plant and the increased domestic demand due to continued expansion in employment levels.
“This is in addition to the continued recovery in the global economy despite the geopolitical challenges, which augurs well for a strengthening of external demand for Jamaica’s goods and services such as Tourism.”
However, Dr Henry cautioned the positive growth prospects could be constrained by plant downtime due to relatively aged plant equipment in major industries as well as adverse weather conditions.
He had good news for the utility services sector, where electricity and water were stand-out performers. Total electricity consumption for the quarter increased by 6.1 per cent to 267.6 million kilowatt hours with electricity sales increasing by 5.7 per cent to 265.7 million kilowatt hours.
At the same time, water consumption went up 1.6 per cent to 7,207.4 mega-litres. However, water production is down 4.5% to 25,609.9 mega-litres.