JIS News

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  • Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says the economic growth momentum is expected to continue through to the end of the September quarter, despite the effects of the drought.
  • Real economic activity expanded within the range of one to two per cent during the June quarter, representing the fourth consecutive quarter of growth, and is projected to continue over the next four quarters.

Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. the Hon. Peter Phillips, says the economic growth momentum is expected to continue through to the end of the September quarter, despite the effects of the drought.

He was addressing a post-Cabinet Retreat press briefing on September 17 at Jamaica House.

Real economic activity expanded within the range of one to two per cent during the June quarter, representing the fourth consecutive quarter of growth, and is projected to continue over the next four quarters.

As it relates to inflation, Dr. Phillips said the 12-month inflation rate is expected to fall within the projected seven to nine per cent range at the end of September.
Bank of Jamaica Governor, Brian Wynter, who also addressed the briefing, noted that as the drought conditions ameliorate, agriculture, which is usually the economy’s chief performing sector, will rebound.
“Inflation is going to continue to subside…it is absorbing the impact of the drought conditions, which is why it has popped up a little in a month or two…the kind of agriculture that was affected is fast growing, so we expect a rebound in agriculture,” he stated.
Pointing to other macroeconomic indicators, Minister Phillips noted that the exchange rate has stabilised, the current account deficit has continued to improve, and the Net International Reserves (NIR) are in excess of US$2.1 billion, with gross reserves in the range of US$2.6 billion.

 

Of particular note, he said, is that central government has maintained its 7.5 per cent primary surplus, and close monitoring of tax revenues will continue.

Cabinet went into retreat on September 15 and September 16, to discuss, among other things, the Government’s growth strategy, the energy sector, fiscal policy, and the budget calendar for the upcoming fiscal year.

Dr. Phillips said during the discussions, Cabinet reiterated its overall support for the economic reform programme, and maintenance of the primary surplus target through the next fiscal year, in keeping with the External Fund Facility (EFF) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).