Jamaica’s Real GDP % “Growth”

Real GDP was down 0.18% in the 3rd Quarter of 2012 versus the same quarter of 2011.  This continues a trend in 2012 where each quarter has been lower than the corresponding quarter of 2011. Click on the table below for a longer term view of the trend. Let us look at the quarterly comparisons of 2012 versus 2011 (remember this is for seasonally unadjusted data):

Source: STATIN

Well, at least there was some improvement in Q3, versus Q2, so maybe there is some hope for Q4 – the Christmas quarter. We await that data with immense interest.

Interestingly, a search for annual GDP % growth for Jamaica turned up a multitude of different figures. DiGJamaica is confident of STATIN’s data since 2003 which is up on STATIN’s website and replicated in a lovely graph on diGJamaica and even more interesting motion chart (after clicking the image):

Source: STATIN

The President of the PSOJ, Christopher Zacca,recently said that the World Bank determined that Jamaica averaged 0.6% annual growth since 1962. (Read the President’s speech here) Web searches revealed varying GDP annual growth information going back to 1962 which diGJamaica has collated into a chart for your consumption:

Sources: World Bank, Damien King – “The Evolution Of Structural Adjustment And Stabilization Policy In Jamaica”, IndexMundi, STATIN

The World Bank Jamaica page has a ton (be careful this is a daunting excel file that gets fairly mind numbing) of data.  World Bank’s annual GDP data is also replicated on the United Nations data page, just filter for Jamaica. You can view Damien King’s paper here (PDF form), the sources for his GDP data are STATIN, International Financial Statistics and the International Monetary Fund. IndexMundi claims it gets information from the International Monetary Fund’s 2011 World Outlook. However, indexMundi also has this page that lists its sources as the World Bank and the OECD.

The World Bank uses the year 2000 and the US Dollar as its base year and currency for tracking change in GDP. STATIN on the other hand, recently converted to the year 2007 from 1993 as its base year.

diGJamaica will consult with STATIN to fill in the numbers going back to 1962. STATIN came into existence in 1984, while its predecessor, the Bureau of Statistics began operations in 1946. See a brief history of STATIN and its mandate here.

Have you found anywhere else with good reliable GDP information? How do you determine what’s good and reliable?