‘Jamaica out of recession’

(Jamaica Observer) “There is an expected return to positive performance for most industries reflecting a resurgence in output following the impact of Hurricane Sandy,” said Colin Bullock, director general of the PIOJ, at the organisation’s quarterly press briefing held on Wednesday.

He figures that the continued roll out of growth inducing capital projects approved for the current fiscal year, which runs to next March, and restoration of investor confidence with the passing of the first International Monetary Fund (IMF) test, will also aid in boosting the economy. Continued recovery in the global economy also factors in, and with expectation that Jamaica will end the year with growth coming from several fronts, including the Bank of Jamaica, the recovery in the domestic economy is expected to be sustained.

Up to July, Jamaica saw five consecutive quarters of economic decline, including the 0.4 per cent contraction reported for the April-to-June quarter.

Preliminary data for last month showed declines in electricity generation, airport arrivals and mining and quarrying. But the PIOJ is projecting that the growth seen in mining in the second quarter of 2013 will continue through to September, as higher utilisation of alumina refinery capacity outweighs the reduction in crude bauxite production.

Lower global demand for bauxite and a dramatic fall in alumina prices were to be blamed for the five quarters of decline reported for the industry, before registering five per cent year on year growth in the three months to June.

Bullock did not hazard a guess on the outcome for the tourism during the current quarter, but his team and the planning agency expects that the “gradual abatement of drought conditions is expected to strengthen performance” when will lead to growth in the electricity and water supply industry.