Jamaica: Agriculture And Construction to the Rescue

Agriculture and Construction prevented further economic decline- The agriculture and construction sectors are responsible for staving off a further decline in the growth of the economy for the third quarter of the year. Jamaica’s economy shrunk by 11.3% from July to September, but according to the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), it could have been worse if it weren’t for those two sectors.

Improved weather conditions, which facilitated growth in the agriculture, forestry & fishing industry. And an uptick in construction activities, owing to the industry’s exemption from some COVID-19 management measures have seemingly saved the country from a more drastic economic decline.

According to the Planning Institute of Jamaica, agriculture & construction are the only industries that recorded growth from July to September.

The mining and quarrying sector continues to disappoint with the closure of the Alpart Refinery. Growth was down 22.9% and manufacturing was also down 8.7%.

Within the services industry which shrunk by an overall 13%, all five sectors recorded negative growth.

The hardest hits are the hotels and restaurants, with a projection of over 60 percent decline due to a drop in visitor arrivals from the United States of America, Canada, and Europe because of COVID-19.

According to the PIOJ, trends show that the growth will continue to be impacted by COVID-19. 

Hoteliers though optimistic for the winter season are still worried about the fear of travel; the mining operation at the JISCO Alpart Refinery is nowhere near reopening. More details in this report: