JIS News

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  • The Government’s revenue inflows for April totalled $34 billion, approximately $2 million above target.
  • Tax revenues accounted for $33 billion of this sum, which was $3 million more than budgeted, says Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Co-
  • Mr. Byles said the other indicator, the net international reserves (NIR), stood at US$2.3 billion at the end of May, noting that this was ahead of the US$1.8 billion target for June.

The Government’s revenue inflows for April totalled $34 billion, approximately $2 million above target.

Tax revenues accounted for $33 billion of this sum, which was $3 million more than budgeted, says Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) Co-Chair, Richard Byles.

He was speaking at EPOC’s monthly media briefing, at Sagicor Life’s offices in New Kingston, on Thursday, June 9.

Mr. Byles indicated that the out-turn enabled the Government to generate a $6 billion primary surplus for April, which was $2.4 billion more than budgeted.

The primary surplus is one of the two key performance indicators for Jamaica under the Administration’s Extended Fund Facility arrangement with the International Monetary Fund.

Mr. Byles said the other indicator, the net international reserves (NIR), stood at US$2.3 billion at the end of May, noting that this was ahead of the US$1.8 billion target for June.

Meanwhile, Mr. Byles informed that the Government’s programmes and capital expenditures fell by $2.5 billion and $500 million, respectively, during April.

This, he said, was attributable to the budget schedule being completed in May, when it was tabled in the House of Representatives by Finance and Public Service Minister, Hon. Audley Shaw.

“I think we will see that, as this quarter goes along, expenditures will catch up with the budgeted numbers,” Mr. Byles added.

Other notable economic indicators which Mr. Byles highlighted include: a -0.4 per cent rate of inflation for April, with the cumulative out-turn for the first four months of the calendar year being -1.7 per cent; an eight per cent increase in bank credit to the private sector; a decrease in unemployment to 13.3 per cent as at January 2016; 0.7 per cent economic growth during the fourth quarter of 2015; and the current account balance deficit being less than three per cent.

“I think it is (safe) to say that Jamaica remains on track with the International Monetary Fund programme, and this is excellent news,” Mr. Byles said.

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