Finance minister welcomes last- quarter growth

Saturday, February 17, 2018

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MINISTER of Finance and the Public Service Audley Shaw has welcomed the 1.1 per cent growth in the economy for the October to December quarter in 2017.

“It's still a modest growth figure but at least we are going in the right direction. And I think that what we have to do now is drill down more critical areas, like agriculture, where the clear potential exists, and we have to really concentrate on that potential,” Shaw said.

The minister was speaking to the media following the ceremonial opening of Parliament Thursday at Gordon House.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica reported that the country recorded its strongest quarterly growth for the 2017 calendar year, at an estimated 1.1 per cent, between October and December. This followed the 0.8 per cent growth for the July to September quarter.

Shaw said focus has to be placed on expanding the business process outsourcing sector from the current employment of 26,000 persons to over 50,000 by the end of the 2018/19 fiscal year.

“There are other areas, such as tourism, which is on an impressive trajectory. The challenge that we face in tourism, however, is that we have to build out the linkages to the local manufacturing and agricultural sectors so that the local community can benefit from the increased visitor arrivals to Jamaica,” he said.

The 2017 calendar year growth is estimated at 0.5 per cent, representing the fifth-consecutive year of economic growth recorded by Jamaica.




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