Finance Minister Expects 2% Growth for 2016/17

Photo: JIS Photographer Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, says he expects growth in the economy to be about two per cent by the end of the 2016/17 fiscal year.
  • He noted that growth in the economy has been fairly broad-based, with agriculture and fisheries growing by 17.4 per cent, hotels and restaurants by 1.7 per cent, electricity and water supply by 3.8 per cent, and manufacturing and construction by 0.7 per cent.

Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, says he expects growth in the economy to be about two per cent by the end of the 2016/17 fiscal year.

The Minister was opening the Debate on the first Supplementary Estimates in the House of Representatives on January 17.

Tabled on January 10, the Estimates showed that the budget has been revised upwards from $579.93 billion to $592.74 billion, an increase of $12.8 billion.

The Estimates show an increase in the Recurrent (housekeeping) expenses from $459.37 billion to $463.52 billion, while Capital (development) spending has moved from $120.56 billion to $129.2 billion.

Mr. Shaw said real gross domestic product (GDP) growth for the first half of fiscal year 2016-17 was 1.7 per cent compared to 1.2 per cent in the first half of the 2015/16 financial year.

He noted that growth in the economy has been fairly broad-based, with agriculture and fisheries growing by 17.4 per cent, hotels and restaurants by 1.7 per cent, electricity and water supply by 3.8 per cent, and manufacturing and construction by 0.7 per cent.

“Although this economic growth is in line with our 1.7 per cent projection under the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-supported programme, I expect that growth could be closer to two per cent, if the momentum that we have seen, thus far, continues in the second half of the fiscal year,” the Minister said.

Mr. Shaw added that unemployment continues to decline, inflation is at historic lows and interest rates are trending down, supported by prudent fiscal and monetary policies.

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