JAMAICA | Hotel and Restaurtant sector leads in COVID era economic recovery

JAMAICA | Hotel and Restaurtant sector leads in COVID era economic recovery

KINGSTON,  Jamaica, August, 2021m -The Planning Institute of Jamaica is estimating the island's Hotel and Restaurant Sector to have grown by a huge 330.7 per cent during the April to June 2021 quarter, to lead all Goods Producing and Services industries recording growth during the period.

The out-turn for that subsector, which falls under the Services Industry, helped to spur a significant turnaround in the performance of the economy, which grew by an estimated 12.9 per cent over the quarter, according to the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).

Director-General, Dr. Wayne Henry, noted that the Goods Producing Industry grew by an estimated 7.8 per cent, while the Services Industry expanded by approximately 14 per cent.

“The out-turn for the period largely reflected the impact of the relaxation of measures implemented to manage the (coronavirus) COVID-19 pandemic, relative to the corresponding quarter of 2020 when the country was partially locked down for the majority of the period,” he pointed out.

Speaking during the PIOJ’s digital quarterly briefing on Thursday August 26, Dr. Henry said the out-turn for Hotels and Restaurants reflected a sharp increase in visitor arrivals, following the closure of Jamaica’s borders to passenger movement for most of the corresponding quarter of 2020, due to COVID-19.

“Stopover arrivals for April-May 2021 increased to 205,244 visitors compared with none during the corresponding period of 2020,” he further informed.

Other Services Industry subsectors recording growth were Transport, Storage and Communication, up 16.5 per cent; Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair and Installation of Machinery (WRTRIM), up 13.2 per cent; Electricity and Water Supply, up four per cent; and Finance and Insurance Services, up 2.5 per cent. However, the Government Services subsector remained flat.

Dr. Henry said all Goods Producing Industry subsectors grew, except mining and quarrying, which contracted by approximately 12.3 per cent, due to lower alumina and crude bauxite production.

Construction recorded the largest out-turn, 18.3 per cent, reflecting higher levels of activities in the building and other (civil) construction components.

The second largest out-turn, Dr. Henry said, was recorded by Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, which grew by an estimated 10 per cent.

The Director-General also informed that the Manufacturing subsector grew by approximately 3.1 per cent.

Meanwhile, the economy grew by an estimated 2.3 per cent for the first six months of the 2021 calendar year, from January to June.

Dr. Henry said the Goods Producing Industry grew by an estimated five per cent and the Services Industry by 1.4 per cent.

The industries recording the largest increases were Construction, up 13.8 per cent; Agriculture, up 3.9 per cent, Other Services, up 3.6 per cent; and Transport, Storage and Communication, up 3.4 per cent.

Dr. Henry said that the prospects for the July-September 2021 quarter and 2021/22 fiscal year are “positive”.

He indicated that growth is anticipated to be within the range of four to six per cent for the September 2021 quarter, and six to 10 per cent for the full fiscal year.

The Director-General said it is anticipated that Jamaica will record higher levels of output for all quarters of 2021/22, relative to the subdued performance in 2020/21, due to the restrictions caused by COVID-19.

“It should be noted, however, that the economy is not expected to attain pre-COVID GDP levels until fiscal year 2023/24,” Dr. Henry stated.

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