PIOJ reports 1% growth for April-June quarter
The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is reporting an estimated one per cent first-quarter fiscal-year growth for April to June 2019.
Director General Dr Wayne Henry says the out-turn, buoyed primarily by a 1.4 per cent expansion of the services industry, extends Jamaica’s growth trend to 18 consecutive quarters or four and a half years, despite the overall flat performance in the goods-producing industry.
He was speaking at the PIOJ’s quarterly briefing at the Institute’s head office in New Kingston yesterday.
Henry said that further growth was stymied by drought conditions, which negatively impacted output in agriculture and constrained growth in the food-processing component of the manufacturing industry, and the winding down of several major infrastructure projects during the review quarter.
Meanwhile, Henry said growth for January to June 2019 is estimated to have increased by 1.4 per cent, relative to the corresponding period of the previous year.
He said growth prospects for July to September 2019 are “generally positive”, and expected to be in the range of 0.5 to 1.5 per cent.
J'cans among four held in J$200m cocaine bust
Two Jamaicans were among four men who appeared in a Grenadian magistrate’s court on Monday, charged in connection with a multimillion-dollar drug bust.
Grenadian Bernard Spann, 46; businessman Elvis Chance, 47, of St Vincent and the Grenadines; and Jamaicans Alrick Reynolds, 47, a farmer, and 53-year-old Ian White were jointly charged with conspiracy to trafficking in a controlled drug.
Additional charges of trafficking in a controlled drug were laid against Reynolds and Chance, while White and Spann were charged with possession of a controlled drug.
The court heard that the four men were arrested with 40kg of cocaine during a joint police operation last Wednesday night in the capital. The police said the drugs had a street value of EC$4 million (J$200 million).
They will all reappear in court on September 5.
Windward Islands brace for Tropical Storm Dorian
ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC):
Dominica, which is still recovering from the battering it received in 2017 when Hurricane Maria pounded the island, killing more than 30 people and leaving millions of dollars in destruction, has joined the other Windward Islands – Grenada, St. Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines – in awaiting the passage of a Tropical Storm Dorian.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said that Dorian could be near hurricane strength when it passes through the northern Windward Islands today, becoming the first hurricane for the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
In all four islands, the governments have ordered public offices to close early yesterday, and in the case of St Lucia, which is likely to be most affected by the storm, a total shutdown has been ordered from 6 p.m. yesterday until the storm passes.
Citizens have been urged to take all precautions to safeguard themselves from the storm.