Slower than expected growth but Jamaicans upbeat about economic prospects
Jamaicans remain upbeat about the country’s economic prospects although the reality of the slower than expected rate of growth over the past 18 months has tempered some of the expectations.
That’s the finding of the latest Survey of Consumer and Business Confidence Indices.
The survey, which looked at the third quarter of this year, recorded a Consumer Confidence Index of 151.1, which is slightly above the 149.3 recorded for the second quarter of the year.
This was nearly identical with the third quarter of last year and according to lead researcher, Don Anderson, consumers gave credit to the government’s economic policies and the actual expansion of business and job opportunities sparked by these policies.
Anderson noted that this is underscored by the expansion of the construction industry in recent time, which has created jobs primarily for persons in the lower socio-economic group.
Anderson further noted that Jamaican firms expressed a greater degree of economic confidence in the third quarter of 2017 than any other time before 2016.
He pointed out that the optimism has slowly declined from the unbridled responses to the initial announcement of the government’s new policies nearly two years ago.
However, he said businesses are still confident about the economy noting that the pullback mostly reflected a more realistic assessment of the pace of the expected gains.
Anderson noted that the third quarter survey found that 50 per cent of firms expect an improved economy.
It also showed that 58 per cent of businesses indicated that the time is right to expand their capacity and 66 per cent expect financial gains in the year ahead.