JIS News

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  • Co-Chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), Richard Byles, says lower commodity prices saved the country US$911 million last year.
  • He was addressing a press briefing held recently at the Sagicor Life Jamaica head office in New Kingston.
  • Jamaica’s trade deficit with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region fell by US$130.7 million to US$542.1 million.

Co-Chair of the Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC), Richard Byles, says lower commodity prices saved the country US$911 million last year.

“That is a tremendous number (which has) percolated through to help the current account, the balance of payments, Net International Reserves (NIR), inflation, and really restored some purchasing power in the hands of (Jamaicans),” Mr. Byles said.

He was addressing a press briefing held recently at the Sagicor Life Jamaica head office in New Kingston.

Mr. Byles noted further that lower imports, particularly of fuels and food, resulted in a narrowing in the merchandise trade deficit to US$3.7 billion for January to December.

The figure represents a 15.1 per cent improvement over the US$4.4 billion recorded for the similar period in 2014.

Jamaica’s trade deficit with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) region fell by US$130.7 million to US$542.1 million.