Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Jamaica to grow 2.1 per cent in 2016 - World Bank

Published:Thursday | January 7, 2016 | 1:01 PMSteven Jackson

The World Bank forecasts 2.1 per cent growth for Jamaica in 2016 while lauding increased consumer confidence amid international lending arrangements.

The growth in the island trails the Global forecast of 2.9 per cent but massively beats the regional forecast set at 0.1 per cent for Latin America and Caribbean in 2016.

"In contrast, Jamaica saw growth pick up, amid increased business and consumer confidence, a successful IMF Extended Fund Facility programme review, and stronger  mining output,"  according to Global Economic Prospects published this month by the World Bank.

The World Bank's forecast actually betters that of ECLAC, a regional United Nations body which forecast 2016 growth at 1.5 per cent for the island released in December. The World Bank extended its forecast for Jamaica with 2.4 per cent growth in 2017 and 2.6 per cent in 2018.

Jamaica introduced new consumption taxes and reduced the public sector wage bill, as well as sharply lowering gross debt as a share of Gross domestic product, added the document which listed 2015 growth for the island at 1.3 per cent.

The rate of global rate slowed since 2010 with the waning of the commodity boom which fuelled rapid expansion in emerging economies. Going forward, the World Bank sees global growth remaining tame albeit rising slightly in the medium term.

"Global growth again fell short of expectations in 2015. Growth is projected to edge up in 2016 t 2018 but the forecast is subject to substantial downside risks.

In addition to discussing global and regional economic developments and outlook, this edition of the Global Economic Prospects also includes analysis of key challenges and opportunities currently confronting emerging and developing countries: spillovers from a slowdown in major emerging markets; the potential macroeconomic implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership; and the links between exchange rate regimes and capital controls in emerging and developing countries," according to the executive summary of the report.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com