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  • Co-Chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), Richard Byles, is commending the efforts by the Economic Growth Council (EGC) to achieve economic growt
  • He said the consistent improvements made in Jamaica’s macroeconomic environment over the period of the Extended Fund Facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the improvement in the gross domestic product (GDP) have set the stage for the achievement of the EGC’s ‘five in four’ plan.

Co-Chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), Richard Byles, is commending the efforts by the Economic Growth Council (EGC) to achieve economic growth.

He said the consistent improvements made in Jamaica’s macroeconomic environment over the period of the Extended Fund Facility with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the improvement in the gross domestic product (GDP) have set the stage for the achievement of the EGC’s ‘five in four’ plan.

“What we have seen in the last six quarters is positive growth, which is good,” he said.

Mr. Byles, who was speaking at a press briefing in Kingston, yesterday (November 10), said while a large portion of the growth, so far, has come from improved output from agriculture, due to increase in rainfall, he expects the trend of growth to continue.

“If you follow this kind of trend, without anything extraordinary in the economy, we are likely to run at rates of 1.5 to 1.75 or two per cent per annum. In time, we would get up to the five per cent,” he said.

However, he said with the EGC’s move to “turbocharge” the growth trend by looking at aspects of the economy and the local business environment that are restrictive to further growth, they could meet the target of five per cent GDP growth in four years.

“We are a small economy and if we do get a significant flow of foreign investment, it can spur our growth significantly. There is always hope, and even if we fell short, the effort that the Government is making to do that will be well worth it,” Mr. Byles said.