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  • There are signals of a continued uptick in the economy into the New Year, with Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, reporting positive developments in a number of areas.
  • Inflation for the calendar year is expected to be below the target range, and the current account deficit continues to narrow.
  • Noting that the international investor community is taking notice of the developments, Dr. Phillips said the gains made must not just be maintained, but amplified

There are signals of a continued uptick in the economy into the New Year, with Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, reporting positive developments in a number of areas.

He noted that employment has increased and there are encouraging signs particularly as it relates to youth employment.

Inflation for the calendar year is expected to be below the target range, and the current account deficit continues to narrow.

“I expect that the current account deficit, which we inherited at approximately

15 per cent (will) be around six per cent or below for this fiscal year,” he stated, while addressing Wednesday’s (January 7) official opening of the Scotia Group Fairview Financial Centre in Montego Bay, St. James.

Pointing to other positive indicators, Dr. Phillips said “our Net International Reserves (NIR) stand a little above US$2 billion, we are maintaining a competitive exchange rate, and our Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) increased by some 74 per cent between 2012/13 and 2013/14. It went up by 3.2 per cent of GDP gross domestic product to 5.3per cent of GDP.”

He credited the progress made so far to the strong foundation laid by Government in terms of fiscal consolidation, structural reform and financial prudence, as well as the “the commitment and sacrifices of many.”

Noting that the international investor community is taking notice of the developments, Dr. Phillips said the gains made must not just be maintained, but amplified. He called on partners in the private sector to do their part in terms of investment and job creation.

Minister Phillips, in the meantime, said that last year’s drought impacted the country’s positive growth trajectory and brought to the fore the need for Jamaica to pay closer attention to the impact of climate change.

He said that while it is expected that the economy will return to growth in the December (2014) and March (2015) quarters, it is critical that the private sector join the international community in investing more in Jamaica.

The 19,000 square foot, state-of-the-art Scotiabank Group Financial Centre in Fairview, houses the group’s insurance, investment, retail, small business, premium and commercial banking services under one roof.

 

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