Sat | Sep 30, 2023

PM defends Jamaica's economic direction

Published:Tuesday | August 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer
JLP leader Andrew Holness speaking at a rally in South East St Catherine to present Robert Miller, an educator, as the party’s standard-bearer for the constituency.

Prime minister Andrew Holness has strongly defended the Government's stewardship of the economy, declaring that all the fundamentals are correct, with everything pointing in the right direction.

Holness, who was speaking at a Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) rally, held at the Southborough Primary School in Portmore on Sunday to present educator Robert Miller as the caretaker to represent the South Eastern St Catherine constituency in the next general election, also warned that those who are betting against the Jamaican dollar will fail.

"If we look at the economy today, everything that you would want happening in an economy is happening right here in Jamaica," stated Holness, adding that interest rates, inflation, unemployment and poverty are at historically low levels.

"It is amazing that with everything pointing in the right direction, we are seeing the rate of the US dollar rising.

"It tells us that there is some irrational behaviour in the market; it tells us that there is some panic behaviour in the market; it tells us that there is some speculative behaviour in the market," he stated.

Declaring that the Government's policy as it relates to the foreign exchange rate is one of flexibility, the JLP leader assured that the economic policy of the Government will not change, because what goes up must come down.


Strong economic prgramme


"I want to say to those people who have been betting against the Jamaican dollar, those people who have been speculating because all they are used to over the last 40 years is for the dollar to rise, rise, rise, the Government is putting in place a very strong economic programme to ensure that the economy continues in the right direction and therefore, the market."

Touting an almost $3 billion in the net foreign exchange reserves as the highest in recent times, the prime minister told the public that the Government is paying attention and is building on the reserve so that Jamaica can withstand any shock.