PIOJ projects GDP will recover in two to four years


PIOJ projects GDP will recover in two to four years

Friday, July 10, 2020

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The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) is projecting that the local economy will recover within two to four years and employment within one to three years following the global economic fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country's chief planning agency, in its recent presentation to the United Nations (UN) High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, said the pandemic significantly affected the economy, despite the containment measures that were engaged to slow the spread of the virus.

“The coronavirus brought economic activity to a halt and resulted in significant falls in economic output. The adverse impact of the pandemic included reduced inflows of foreign exchange, declines in government revenues, and an increase in unemployment,” PIOJ stated in a news release on Wednesday.

The PIOJ said while it was expecting real gross domestic product (GDP) growth to resume within the next two to four years, it was also not anticipating that “the economic recovery from COVID-19 will be as long as the recovery period following the global economic recession in 2008-2009, given the relative strength of the Jamaican economy along with the stimulus packages implemented both locally and globally”.

In April the Government launched the COVID-19 Allocation of Resources for Employees (CARE) Programme to provide temporary relief in the form of cash transfers to cushion some of the impacts faced by individuals and businesses.

Prior to the advent of COVID-19, the economy — following significant fiscal and economic reforms — was characterised by macroeconomic stability evidenced by a substantial reduction in the debt to GDP ratio, 19 consecutive quarters of economic growth and a record low unemployment rate of 7.2 per cent.

The PIOJ, in its report, further highlighted that a preliminary review of the development targets under Vision 2030 Jamaica — National Development Plan, also revealed that there will be slippages in achieving the targets of several indicators. The agency, however, noted that the country remains committed to pursuing the long-term goals as articulated by the plan.

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