Prices in Jamaica plunged for December

Prices in Jamaica on average, fell sharply by 1 percent in December last, bringing inflation as measured by the country’s Consumer Price Index to 2.4 percent for the calendar year. The fall in inflation for December occurred across several main categories of goods and services.
The movement in the index for the fiscal year-to-date was 2.7 percent. The rate of increase on average is well below the target set by the government for the central bank to aim at, for the fiscal year of 4 to 6 percent. Had it not been for a spike in the rate of exchange between April and September last year, the rate for the year would have been even lower than the final numbers reported.
Food and Non Alcoholic Beverages and the Transport division declined by 1.5 percent. The fall in Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages resulted from a decline of 6.2 percent in Vegetables, Starchy Foods due to increased supplies of agricultural produce the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) stated. The decrease in the Transport was due to lower prices for petrol, while Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels fell by 1.3 percent, due mainly to reduced rates for electricity, sewage and water rates.

Jamaica’s growth crawls along at 1.8% PA

Construction secrtor contributed to increased growth in Q3.

Economic growth in the Jamaican grew 1.8 percent in the third quarter of 2018 over the similar quarter of 2017. The performance result in gains in the Goods Producing and the Services Industries.
The goods producing sector grew by a strong 5.1 percent but the services sector was up just 0.7 percent over the similar period in 2017, the report from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin) stated in their release on the performance on the local economy for the third quarter of the year.
According to Statin, all industries within the Services Industries recorded higher levels of output with the exception of Electricity & Water Supply which declined by 0.1 percent and the Producers of Government Services which remained unchanged for the period. Increases were recorded for: Wholesale & Retail Trade; Repairs; Installation of Machinery & Equipment (0.8 percent ), Hotels & Restaurants (2.1 percent ), Transport, Storage & Communication (1.4 percent ), Finance & Insurance Services (0.7 percent ), Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities (0.5 percent ) and Other Services (1.2 percent ).

Mining was the biggest contributer to GDP gains in Q3.

Hotels & other short-stay accommodation benefited from a 3.8 percent increase in foreign national arrivals, the report stated. The Goods Producing Industries grew due to increased output in Mining & Quarrying, up 51 percent due mainly to the reopening of Alpart refinery and Construction up by 3.7 percent due to increased activities in the civil engineering sub-group. The major contributor to this growth was work associated with the continued expansion of road infrastructure. However, Manufacturing declined by 0.3 percent due mainly to lower production levels, in petroleum refining and non-metallic minerals. Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing remained unchanged. The growth for the third quarter brings real growth for the year to September to 1.8 percent over 2017. Gross domestic product for the calendar year, grew 0.9 percent in 2015, 1.4 percent in 2016 and 1 percent in 2017.

Inflation moderates in October

Prices in Jamaica increased in October but at a slightly slower pace than in September according to the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) in a release today.
“The All Jamaica Consumer Price Index for October recorded an inflation rate of 0.7 percent”, the report from Statin said, down from 1.1 percent in September. The movement in the October CPI was influenced by a 1.7 percent increase, for Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages. Prices for vegetables and starchy foods resulting in the group Food moving upwards by 1.8 percent. The Transport division increased by 0.5 percent as a result of an increase in the price for petrol and air travel.
The increases were tempered by a 1.3 percent decline in the division Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels due mainly to reduced rates for electricity despite the increased rates for water and sewage, the Statin report stated. The index

Crude price in sharp fall coupled with J$ appreciation to create negative inflation ahead.

for the group Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels fell by 2.5 percent while, the group Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to Dwelling advanced by 0.5 percent.
The calendar year-to-date inflation was 3.5 percent while the movement in the index for the fiscal year-to-date was 3.8 percent with inflation over the last 12 months being 4.7 percent.
The higher inflation rate came as a result of the rate of exchange of the Jamaican dollar sliding from around $125 to one US dollar in May to a low of $137.95, that would have helped to push up the prices of imported items and petroleum and spiked inflation that ran at a negative rate up to May. Since October when the survey would have been done, the rate of exchange for the Jamaican dollar appreciated J$132.17 to the US dollar and since then appreciated further to J$126.58 to the US dollar and seems set to enjoy further appreciation.

Employment jumps 10,700 for 2018

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Employment in Jamaica jumped by 10,700 persons since the start of 2018, to 1,217,300 persons in April, and 14,700 more than the 1,202,600 recorded in April last year.
A total of 1,206,600 persons, were employed, in January 2018 this year data out of the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin)shows.
The effect of the increase in the number of persons employed, is that the unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent In April, compared to 12.2 percent in April 2017, but inched up slightly from the 9.6 percent recorded in January, this year.
“Among major occupation groups, the largest increase in the Employed Labour Force between April 2017 and April 2018 occurred in ‘Elementary Occupations’. This occupation group includes, among other jobs, car washers, street vendors and housekeepers in hotels. There were 174,900 persons employed in this occupation group in April 2018, an increase of 13,200 or 8.2 percent when compared with April 2017,” the Statin report showed.

Inflation in June but deflation intact

Jamaica recorded an increase of 0.4 percent inflation for June, leaving country still in deflation for the year to June at negative 0.3 percent and inflation for the last twelve months to 2.8 percent.
“Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels, moved up by 1.2 percent, an upward movement in the rate for electricity resulted in the group ‘Electricity, Gas, and Other Fuels increasing by 2 percent.

The price of electricity helped spike inflation in June.

While Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to the Dwelling increased by 0.8 percent as a result of higher water and sewage rates. Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages rose 0.3 percent due to an increase of 0.7 per cent in the class ‘Vegetables and Starchy Foods. Higher prices were recorded for produce such as Irish potato, yam, carrot, lettuce and onion during the month under review” the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) indicated. Transport recorded an increase of 0.8 percent for the period, mainly due to increased prices for petrol the STATIN concluded.

Deflation for Jamaica’s Q1

Prices declined for another month in Jamaica, according to data just released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) but prices are still high than a year ago.
Statin stated that the All Jamaica Consumer Price Index declined for the second consecutive month as a negative 0.1 percent inflation rate was recorded for March 2018. The main contributor to this movement was the 1.0 percent fall in Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages category, due to lower prices for agricultural produce resulting in a 4.3 percent reduction in index for the class Vegetables and Starchy Foods. Transportation recorded a decline of 0.4 percent for the period, resulting from lower fuel prices. Upward movement of a 3.2 percent in Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels, primarily resulting from higher electricity, water and sewage rates help to negate the above mention declines. As at March 2018, the calendar year-to-date inflation was negative 0.2 percent and the movement in the index for the last twelve months is 3.9 percent.

Jamaican Economy grew 0.5% in 2017

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Preliminary estimate by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin) puts growth in the Jamaican economy at 0.5 percent for 2017, after it grew by 1.1 per cent in the fourth quarter compared to the similar 2016 quarter, data just released by Statin shows.
The result will be subject to revision when additional data is obtained. Growth in the final quarter, Statin stated “resulted from improved performances in both the Services Industries up by 1.1 percent and the Goods Producing Industries 1.2 percent.”
“All industries within the Services Industries recorded gains: Electricity & Water Supply, 0.4 percent, Hotels & Restaurants 5.8 percent, Transport, Storage & Communication 0.7 percent, Real Estate, Renting & Business Activities 0.8 percent, Wholesale & Retail Trade; Repairs; Installation of Machinery & Equipment 0.5 percent,

Growth in tourism was strong in 2017

Finance & Insurance Services 0.8 percent, Producers of Government Services 0.2 percent and Other Services 1.4 percent.”
The main contributors to growth in the Goods Producing Industries were Mining & Quarrying 14.7 percent, Manufacturing 0.3 percent and Construction 0.7 percent. The Mining & Quarrying industry benefitted from higher production levels at the alumina plants. The Manufacturing industry’s performance was attributed to increased output from both the Food, Beverages & Tobacco and Other Manufacturing sub-industries, due largely to the increase in beverages, bakery products and grain mill products.
However, Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing declined by 1.1 per cent. The performance of the Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing industry was impacted by heavy rainfall, the Statin report stated.

Food prices pressure November’s inflation

Food category was main contributor to November’s inflation.

Jamaica’s inflation increased by 0.6 percent during November over for October 2017 based on the Consumer Price Index, according to Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN)
According to STATIN, the “movement was mainly the result of a 1.2 percent rise in the index for the heaviest weighted division Food & Non-Alcoholic Beverages. Transportation moved up by 1 percent due to higher petrol prices and airfares, and Education increasing by 0.2 per cent, as a result of an increase in the cost of CSEC examination fees. The impact of the month’s inflation was however tempered by the 0.9 percent fall in the index for the division ‘Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels, with lower cost for electricity being the main contributing factor.”
Year-to-date inflation is 4.6 percent, while inflation for the past 12 months is up 4.9 percent and the fiscal year-to-date movement was 3.6 per cent.
The relatively large revaluation of the Jamaican dollar against the US dollar since September, will have a moderating impact on inflation going forward.

Inflation eases in July

Inflation in Jamaica eased a bit in July to 0.6 percent compared to June 0.07 percent, according to data released by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin).
“For the second consecutive month the division Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages recorded the highest movement of 1.2 per cent. This was primarily due to an upward movement in the class ‘Vegetable and Starchy Foods up by 3.8 per cent,” Statin stated and the Transport division rose 0.3 percent. Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels decreased by 0.3 percent a result of lower electricity rates.
Inflation for the calendar July come out at 2.7 percent, while the movement over the last twelve months runs at 4.5 percent, slightly more than the 4.4 percent at June.

Jamaica’s Inflation spikes in June

‘Vegetables and Starchy Foods’ had a strong impact on price movement in June.

The Consumer Price Index for June 2017 increased by 0.7 percent, represented the highest monthly movement for the 2017 to date, a release from the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (Statin) stated.
The rate of inflation for the calendar year-to-date is 2.1 percent, 4.4 percent over June last year, while the fiscal year-to-date rate is 1.1 percent.
According to Statin, the sharp increase in June was due mainly to increases in the index for the three heaviest weighted divisions: Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages up by 1.1 per cent, Transport 0.4 percent and Housing, Water, Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels up by 0.4 percent. The Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages division was impacted by the flood rains in mid-May, which disrupted the supplies of agricultural products and resulted in a 3. 7 percent rise in Vegetables and Starchy Foods. The increase in the Transport division was influenced by higher prices for petrol. Increased electricity rates was chiefly responsible for the upward movement in the division Housing, Water, Electricity Gas and Other Fuels, as the class Electricity, Gas and Other Fuels rose by 1.1 per cent. However, the overall movement of the division was tempered by the 1.3 percent decline in the class Water Supply and Miscellaneous Services Related to the Dwelling. Other notable increases were recorded for Restaurants and Accommodation Services, 0.6 percent and Recreation and Culture, 0.4 percent.