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Local Economy grew in December 2019 - BOJ

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) is estimating that the local economy grew in the range of minus 0.5 per cent to 0.5 per cent during the December 2019 quarter.
 
That was a slower pace relative to the 0.6 per cent recorded for the previous three months. 
 
The Central Bank says the estimated growth in the quarter mainly reflected an increase in consumption spending, partly offset by a decline in net exports. 
 
The BOJ says there was estimated growth in most industries for the review quarter, with the exception of mining and quarrying as well as construction. 
 
Over the next eight quarters, real GDP is projected to expand at an average quarterly rate in the range of 0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent, in line with the previous projection.
 
The Bank of Jamaica projects that labour market conditions will also improve further over the next eight quarters. 
 
It has forecast that the average unemployment rate over the March 2020 to December 2021 will decline to 6.9 per cent, relative to 7.7 per cent over the last year. 
 
The employed labour force is projected to increase at an average rate of 0.8 per cent per quarter, while the labour force is projected to remain generally flat. 
 
The BOJ says the growth in employment is expected to provide a boost for wage increases, which may lay the basis for higher inflation in the future.


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