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EPOC takes note of suggestion for stronger oversight body; country remains on target

Published:Tuesday | December 19, 2017 | 1:00 PM

EPOC takes note of suggestion for stronger oversight body; country remains on target

The Economic Programme Oversight Committee (EPOC) says it has taken note of suggestions for a stronger independent body to monitor Jamaica’s Programme for Economic and Social Affairs.

EPOC says it's an important discussion to be had.

However, the oversight body says efforts to give the Bank of Jamaica autonomy and those underway to strengthen the capacity of Parliament for fiscal and budgetary analysis will provide greater independence and critical review of important monetary and fiscal targets.

In the meantime, it says it will continue to monitor the government's macro fiscal programme and ensure independent reporting on the progress.

EPOC says the country is on target to meet and exceed the December quantitative and indicative targets as set out in the Stand-By Arrangement with the International Monetary Fund.

The oversight body says Jamaica continues to meet all its macro-economic targets as revenues from taxes continues to perform above target, while government expenditure is less than budgeted.

EPOC says the primary surplus for the first seven months of the year stood at $65 billion, which was above the $48 billion target.

It says year to date inflation is running at 4.7 per cent, which is well within the four-six per cent target set by the Central Bank.

It further says interest rates continue to trend downwards.