GDP falls

By Nekiesha Reid Business reporter

Wednesday, July 11, 2012    

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Although two institutions have reported growth for the January-March 2012 quarter, the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin) says the economy, in fact, declined.

Two months ago, the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) reported real GDP growth of 0.6 per cent for the quarter relative to the same period last year.

This information supported that provided by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ), which said the Jamaican economy grew by zero to one per cent during the first three months of the year.

But in a release posted on its website on Monday, Statin says the economy declined by 0.1 per cent, which "was the result of declines in the goods producing and services industries which fell by 0.2 and 0.1 per cent respectively".

However, the inconsistency is not surprising, said financial analyst Dennis Chung.

"There is always a slight discrepancy after Statin does the final count," he said.

"What both the PIOJ and the BOJ report are usually preliminary figures and there really isn't much difference between a 0.6 per cent growth and a 0.1 per cent decline," he said.

"In fact, the preliminary figures seemed a bit high because the economy felt very flat".

Mining and quarrying and construction saw the largest decreases in the goods producing industry, Statin says, recording reductions of five per cent and 5.6 per cent respectively.

But within the services industry, the wholesale and retail trade; hotels and restaurants; electricity and water supply; finance and insurance services; repairs; and installation of machinery and equipment improved.

Compared to the previous quarter, to December 2011, the economy declined by 0.5 per cent, with both the goods and services industries decreasing by 1.9 and 0.1 per cent respectively.



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