Monday, May 25, 2015

Economy: For manufacturers, is it "Last Gasp" or "Time to Exhale"?

It was not one of those briefings that the Directors of the PIOJ, headed by Colin Bullock, would necessarily look forward to.

For despite overall growth, the issue was more one of statistics rather than actual increase, at 0.6% for the 1st three months of this year when compared to the same period last year.

Further, Mr Bullock told the gathering of reporters and other bureaucrats present that manufacturing had posted a decline of over 3% over the same quarter last year, this despite higher employment numbers i nthe sector and a vigorous "Buy Jamaica" campaign. Undoubtedly the flattening effect of the runaway US currency affected purchasing power and by extension, consumers' willingness to spend, particularly when the perception that imported goods represent a cost savings over local manufactures persists

Some other sectors, notably construction, showed an increase, but since the construction sector relies on largely imported inputs (including sometimes, labour), this was not really cause for cheer.

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