PIOJ Reports Estimated 1.9% Growth for September 2023 Quarter

  • The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) reported that the economy grew by an estimated 1.9% during the July to September 2023 quarter, compared with the corresponding period last year. Speaking during the PIOJ’s quarterly briefing on Tuesday (November 21), Director General, Dr. Wayne Henry said the out-turn for the review quarter largely reflected higher levels of employment, increased capacity utilisation in the mining and quarrying industry, and continued growth momentum in the tourism sector.
  • Real value added for the mining and quarrying industry increased by an estimated 102%, due to higher alumina production that outweighed a contraction in crude bauxite output. “Alumina production increased by 136.6% due to an expansion in the alumina capacity utilisation rate to 42.4%, up 24.5 percentage points. This was driven by increased capacity utilisation at the Windalco and Jamalco refineries as operations gradually returned to normalcy following technical issues that constrained production at Windalco, as well as Jamalco’s ramping up of capacity since its reopening at limited capacity in the corresponding period of 2022,” Dr. Henry said.
  • Henry informed that real value added for the hotels and restaurants industry grew by 8.0% during the quarter. The industry continues to benefit from increased foreign national arrivals, considering the continued economic growth in main source markets.
  • Growth in the manufacturing industry was estimated to be 3.2%, stemming from increased output in both the Food, Beverages & Tobacco and Other Manufacturing industries. The Director General added that the improved performance of the Other Manufacturing sub-industry mainly reflected higher production in petroleum products, all of which increased.
  • Meanwhile, the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector contracted by an estimated 9.0%, reflecting the adverse impact of drought conditions. The industry’s performance was reflected in declines recorded for Other Agricultural Crops, which contracted by 11.8%. Lower production was recorded for eight of the nine crop groups.
  • Turning to construction, real value added was projected to be flat, reflecting an estimated contraction in building construction, which was counterbalanced by growth in the ‘Other Construction’ component of the industry.
  • Economic growth is anticipated for the remainder of this calendar and fiscal year. For October to December 2023, it is projected that the economy will grow within the range of 1.0% to 2.0%, resulting in calendar year growth (January to December 2023) within the range of 2.0% to 3.0%. For Fiscal Year 2023/24, the projection is for growth within the range of 1.0% to 2.0%.

(Sources: JIS & PIOJ