Mining sector drives economic growth of 1.9%


Mining sector drives economic growth of 1.9%

Alumina production increases 65.7%

Observer writer

Friday, November 23, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

JAMAICA'S gross domestic product for the July to September 2018 quarter grew by 1.9 per cent, bolstered by significant improvement in the mining and quarrying industry, according to the Planning Institute of Jamaica.

“Overall, the projected outturn for the July to September 2018 quarter largely reflected the positive impact of increased domestic demand pushed by record levels of employment; increased consumer and business confidence; expansion of capacity utilisation in the mining and quarrying industry; increased construction activities with the expansion of the road network, building of new hotel rooms and other commercial buildings; and continued stability in the macroeconomic environment,” stated PIOJ Director General Dr Wayne Henry at the quarterly press briefing held at the institute's office in Kingston on Wednesday.

Notwithstanding, real gross domestic product declined slightly when compared to the same period in 2017, which stood at 2.2 per cent. Still, economic growth remains on target, expected to fall between 1.5 and 2.5 per cent.

“Real value added for the mining and quarrying industry grew by an estimated 54 per cent, reflecting the increased output of alumina, which outweighed a decline in crude bauxite production. Alumina production increased by 65.7 per cent to 689 kilo tonnes,” Henry stated.

He noted that output at Alpart — for which there was no production during the corresponding period in 2017 — stood at 264 kilo tonnes, while production of alumina at Jamalco increased by 16.7 per cent to 322 kilo tonnes. Meanwhile, the production of crude bauxite declined by 9.8 per cent.

Categorised in the goods-producing industry, the mining and quarrying subsector recorded the highest growth — 37.1 per cent — for the first nine months of 2018, with agriculture, forestry and fishing registering a 4.8 per cent increase and construction 2.3 per cent.

The manufacturing sector experienced a contraction of 0.8 per cent.

“The goods-producing industry was projected to have grown by 5.2 per cent, reflecting improved performance in all sub-industries except manufacturing. Output in the manufacturing industry was adversely impacted by plant downtime in several components,” Henry said.

The agriculture subsector enjoyed mixed results as “stronger growth was constrained by drought conditions that negatively impacted the agriculture industry”, according to Henry.

Agriculture experienced an uptick of 0.7 per cent due to increased output in five of the nine domestic crop groups, the strongest recorded for potatoes, fruits and tubers.

Traditional export crops declined, however, with sugar cane recording the greatest decline, 72.5 per cent, in the subsector. The fall-off in sugar cane may have had a ripple effect in manufacturing, with lower than expected output in sugar, molasses, and rum and alcohol.

Nevertheless, animal farming also contributed to the improvement in agriculture due to an increased output in poultry meat and egg production “associated with higher demand in the hotel sector”.

The construction industry was the second-largest contributor to growth during the July to September period with a three per cent increase in the subsector.

“The growth in the building construction component was supported by increased activities in both the residential and non-residential categories, which was reflected in an increase in sales of construction input by 7.8 per cent in real terms. Particularly, total cement supply and key input for the building construction component increased by 15.8 per cent to 270,479 tonnes during the review quarter,” Henry said.

“We estimated expansion in the other construction component, largely reflecting increased capital expenditure in the civil engineering category. This included National Works Agency which disbursed $7.1 billion during the quarter, representing an increase of 126.2 per cent relative to the corresponding quarter in 2017. This disbursement largely supported the works under the Major Infrastructure Development Programme,” Henry stated.

He also highlighted Jamaica Public Service's disbursement of $2.1 billion during the quarter for the construction of the 190MW power plant in Old Harbour, which will be run by liquefied natural gas; as well as installation and expansion of electricity distribution network

In addition, National Water Commission has expended $1.2 billion for the rehabilitation of potable water distribution in the Corporate Area and expansion and maintenance of water supply sytems in rural Jamaica.

Looking ahead, the PIOJ expects that with tourism arrivals projected to increase for the current period, the country will remain on target for growth between 1.5 and 2.5 per cent.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon