Jamaica

Jamaica’s P. M. Not Impressed

Prime Minister Andrew Holness says he is not impressed with the latest growth figures.

In 2016, Mr. Holness, and the Economic Growth Council (EGC) had set initiatives to put Jamaica on a path of higher and sustained growth that was said at the time would benefit the poor and vulnerable.

The declaration of intent back then was for a five percent growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) in four years — dubbed 5 in 4.

However, speaking recently at a ground-breaking ceremony for the Jaguar and LandRover dealership in Kingston, Mr. Holness acknowledged that there are questions surrounding the low growth figures given the number of new developments taking place, particularly in the Corporate Area.

Mr. Holness said growth recorded at 1.8 percent is consistent but not impressive.

“We want more growth, but we look at the glass for where it is. The truth is that we have been growing consistently – not the level of growth that we want; I certainly don’t consider it takeoff growth. When we get over two percent then we will be in that range to start to take off,” he said.

On the other hand, Mr. Holness posited the view that a time lag between actual investment and growth figures could show an imprecise picture.  

“Because of systemic weaknesses in our system, the lag between making the actual investment and that investment turning out and showing up in the growth figures takes some time, so you will see growth going into the future,” he asserted.

 Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow

 Edited by Jesus Chan

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