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  • Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips has expressed confidence that the growth which the country has had for three consecutive quarters, will continue.
  • During the July to September 2013 quarter, the economy recorded modest growth of 0.5 per cent following a period of economic contraction, which began in January 2012.
  • Dr. Phillips noted that inflation has been contained with the outturn for financial year 2013/2014 at 8.3 per cent.

Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips has expressed confidence that the growth which the country has had for three consecutive quarters, will continue.

Opening the 2014/15 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives on Thursday,April 17, he noted that during the July to September 2013 quarter, the economy recorded modest growth of 0.5 per cent following a period of economic contraction, which began in January 2012.

​The momentum of growth improved during the October-December 2013 quarter, with the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) confirming growth in GDP of 1.8 per cent.

He noted that preliminary estimates indicated that real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has continued during the January to March quarter of 2014. Growth is estimated at some 1.7 per cent for the quarter, with real GDP for the fiscal year at approximately one per cent.

​“There are some areas of particular significance in this growth story.  Agriculture has been growing at an annualised rate in excess of 13 per cent; mining and quarrying at 12 per cent; tourism at six per cent,” he said. The figures represent the quarter ending December 31, 2013.

He noted that the rate of growth is expected to continue to strengthen, especially as major reforms are implemented to enhance the business environment, and intensify efforts regarding strategic investment projects in tourism, transport, agro parks, and logistics.

“We are hopeful also that the consecutive successful completion of the quarterly reviews under the IMF Programme will stimulate investors to make further investment and drive job creation,” he said.

Dr. Phillips noted that inflation has been contained with the outturn for financial year 2013/2014 at 8.3 per cent.

​This is below what had been projected for the year, and is better than the outturn of 9.1 per cent for 2012/13.

“By living within our means, the country maintained a primary surplus of 7.5 per cent but was also able to achieve a fiscal surplus – our revenues covered all recurrent expenditure including interest costs,” he stated.