Monique Grange, Assistant News Editor
The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre
More disappointment is being expressed this afternoon in relation to Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s broadcast to the nation last night.
Financial expert Ralston Hyman fears financial markets will react in an adverse manner because Simpson Miller did not say much about the government’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He said the prime minister should have provided more clarity on the status of the discussions with the Fund in an effort to boost investor confidence.
He believes members of the public have also been left disappointed because they were anxiously awaiting details coming out of the recent talks with IMF officials.
The financial analyst said he was also hoping that the prime minister would have said how the government plans to address issues such as energy and food security for 2013.
Hyman is also of the view that Simpson Miller should have waited until after the planned Cabinet retreat to address the nation.
Meanwhile, Head of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association, Brian Pengelley, said he was hoping Simpson Miller would have been more definitive about the government’s growth strategy going forward.
And political analyst, Richard ‘Dickie’ Crawford, said he thought there would have been greater focus on the IMF, which he says was glossed over in the prime minister’s speech.
Meanwhile, International financial analyst Dr. Carl Ross believes the Jamaican government is ready to make the tough policy decisions necessary for a deal with the IMF.
He expects that an agreement will be finalised before the first half of this year but notes it will not be an economic panacea.
He believes the government should for this year focus on debt reduction strategies, measures to cut the country’s energy cost and the slide in the Jamaican dollar as priority areas.
Dr. Ross has described the Jamaican dollar as completely uncompetitive.
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