Wed | Sep 18, 2019

BOJ Governor says macroeconomic prospects remain positive

Published:Friday | February 22, 2019 | 10:50 AM
Brian Wynter - Contributed photo

Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) Governor Brian Wynter says the country’s macroeconomic prospects “remain positive as the indicators and outputs continue to show signs of recovery.

“Foreign reserves are above the level deemed adequate and the current account deficit remains low and sustainable. Additionally, market interest rates are at historic lows and fiscal performance continues to be strong,” he points out.

He was speaking at the Central Bank’s quarterly media briefing held at the BOJ Auditorium in downtown Kingston on Thursday.

Other notable indicators highlighted Wynter include improving labour market conditions, which saw the unemployment rate falling to 8.7 per cent as at October 2018 from 10.4 per cent a year earlier, as stated by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica in the Labour Force Survey for the month.

He further reiterated that growth for the October to December 2018 quarter is estimated to have accelerated in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 per cent, rising above the 1.2 per cent recorded in December 2017.

“The Bank assesses that this pace of growth reflected improvements in external demand, investment and, to a lesser extent, private consumption. The key economic sectors reflecting increased economic activity included mining and quarrying, construction and tourism,” the Governor noted.

Wynter said BOJ projections are for growth to remain close to current rates over the next two years.

Additionally, he said further improvements in labour market conditions are expected over the same period, “with more jobs in mining and quarrying, finance and insurance, and business process outsourcing”.

“Overall, Jamaica’s macroeconomic indicators continue to reflect entrenched stability, although the economy is… estimated to be operating below its potential,” Wynter added.

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